Speaking to L’Equipe, former Barcelona and Brazil great Ronaldinho has lavished praise on Lionel Messi ahead of the FIFA World Cup final.
Messi will lead his Argentina side against reigning champions France tomorrow at the Lusail Stadium. The 35-year-old will face off against fellow PSG teammate Kylian Mbappe in the finals – a showdown that fans are eagerly waiting for.
And Ronaldinho, who played for both Barcelona and PSG, is excited for the finals. The Brazil icon insisted that he is not one bit surprised by the level that Messi has been displaying at the World Cup, while also stating that the Argentina captain can continue playing until he is 50.
“For Messi, this level is normal, right (laughs)? He’s been the best in the world for many years now,” Ronaldinho said.
“This is his last World Cup, and I was sure that he would come back and do everything to win it. For me, he can play until he is 50 because he has many more qualities than all the others.”
At the same time, the former Barcelona and PSG legend also highlighted the qualities of Mbappe, claiming that the Frenchman is the type of player that Brazilians love to watch in action.
“I love to see him play too. I am very happy for him. He does everything very well and he is still very young. He has all the qualities, the speed, the dribbling and, in front of the goal, he has the composure,” Ronaldinho said of Mbappe.
“He’s the kind of player we Brazilians love to see play. He seems to have a strong personality too.”
When asked if either Messi or Mbappe could win the Ballon d’Or next year, he said: “Whoever wins the World Cup and scores a goal in the final has the best chance, that’s obvious.
But for me, it’s one thing to be the best player in a World Cup, which is seven games, and another to be the best player of the year. Sometimes it’s not fair.”
Messi, a seven-time Ballon d’Or winner, has been in excellent form at the World Cup. The 35-year-old has netted five goals and set up three more so far for Argentina, cementing his status as the greatest of all time.
Now all that is missing for him in his legendary career is the World Cup winners’ medal, which he will hope to grab on Sunday.