Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari has backed Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo as the best player in the world ahead of Lionel Messi.
Scolari's assessment may not be the most shocking considering he coached Ronaldo for five years when in charge of the Portuguese national team, and he himself is Brazilian while Messi represents Argentina.
'Big Phil' was quoted in A Bola as saying: "Messi is fantastic, but Cristiano is more fantastic. Which one would I naturalise if I could to play for Brazil? I cannot, I cannot, I've been criticised because I naturalised Deco and Pepe in Portugal. Imagine now.
"I like Ronaldo for a specific reason. What's that? In Barcelona, the other stars do not seem bothered with their star, who is Messi.
"At Real Madrid, the impression I have is that the other stars feel uncomfortable with the star that is Cristiano. He does everything he does, equal to Messi, so for me it is Cristiano."
Messi has scored 57 goals this season compared with 50 for Ronaldo, while Messi has been named World Player of the Year for four successive years.