Ronaldo full of praise for Messi
Cape Town - Former Brazil international Ronaldo believes the fact that Lionel Messi has not claimed the World Cup trophy should not diminish his status as a football legend.
Messi, 26, has won every available honour with Barcelona, including four consecutive Ballon d'Or trophies, but has often been criticised for failing to replicate that form on the international stage with Argentina.
Ronaldo feels it is too early to judge the diminutive forward, though, as he still has plenty of time to add the World Cup to his already-impressive list of accolades.
However, even if Messi is unable to win the World Cup with Argentina, Ronaldo feels it would impact the Barcelona forward's legendary status.
He told The Times of India: "He can win that (the World Cup). He has not retired yet, has he? And he is only 26
"Moreover, in the history of football, there are players who did not win the World Cup but are considered as great as any other footballer.
"If you win the World Cup, it gives your status a boost. However, if you cannot, you can still be among the all-time best.
"I saw him (Messi) in Barcelona in his early years there and spoke about him with Ronaldinho. Ronaldinho was full of praise for the boy and when we saw him, we knew why Ronaldinho was so appreciative."
He added: "Messi is really a different class. To win four consecutive Ballon d'Ors is a great achievement."