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Cassano: Only Messi is better than Pato

Antonio Cassano claims that Alexandre Pato is one of the best players in the world and that only Barcelona forward Lionel Messi surpasses him.

Messi won the World Player of Year award in January, while Pato missed out on FIFA's 23-man shortlist for the prize and was also excluded from the Brazil squad for the 2010 World Cup

However, Cassano, who joined Milan in January after falling out with bosses at his former club Sampdoria, has stoked the fires ahead of their crucial Serie A clash with Napoli on Monday night.

"Pato is the strongest of all, I told him this,'' he told Il Corriere dello Sport. "Only one player is greater than him, Messi. Both would complement each other and it would be exceptional to see them in the same team."

The match pitches Serie A's best strikers against each other as Edinson Cavani (20) faces off against Pato (10) and Zlatan Ibrahimovic (13), with Cassano certain over who is the best.

"Ibrahimovic - Cavani, the strongest? Let's not joke. What question is this? Cavani is a good player, but Ibrahimovic is from another category," added Cassano. "As for Napoli, Walter Mazzarri believes they can win the Scudetto, but maybe he doesn't know Milan are stronger."

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