Former Barcelona and Brazil forward Ronaldinho has revealed why he has no choice but to name Lionel Messi the world's greatest player.
The incessant debate as to who is the best between the Argentine and Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo shows no signs of abating.
And now Ronaldinho, once considered the best before Messi's emergence at Barcelona, has admitted that there is an element of bias in his decision.
"The two [Messi and Ronaldo] are both great," he said, quoted by Marca. "But I have to choose Messi because he is my friend."
Ronaldinho became something of a mentor for Messi as a youngster in his early days at Barcelona, and the two developed a close bond.
And after his appointment in an ambassadorial role at the club earlier this year, the Brazilian joked that he would "teach him a little bit more".
Ronaldinho has also given his verdict on compatriot Neymar, who looks set to move to Paris Saint-Germain in a record breaking €222m deal in the coming days.
"If it was me I would do what I have always done," he said. "You have to follow your heart and go where you feel is right and where you will be happy.
"I am sure he is going to do what is best for him and, as a consequence, the club that he goes to is going to benefit."