During a live Q&A session Kaka, who in 2007 won the Ballon d’Or, the most prestigious individual award for football players, was asked which of the two football players he considers the best. After thinking a little Kaka said:
"I played with Cristiano and he's really amazing, but I’ll go with Messi. He’s a genius, a pure talent. The way he plays is incredible".
Kaka, who joined Real Madrid in 2009 together with Ronaldo, praised the Portuguese footballer for his desire to strive for victory and his mentality of never giving up. "Cristiano is a machine. It’s not just the way he's strong, powerful, and fast. He is strong mentally. He always wants to win and play. To be the best. For me, that’s the most incredible thing he has", Kaka said during Q&A session.
Although Kaka snubbed Cristiano, he did name another Ronaldo, popularly dubbed El Fenomeno (the phenomenon) as the best Brazilian player he has ever played with. "I played alongside some greats in my career, but he Ronaldo [Nazario] was the best", Kaka said.
This is not the first time that Ronaldo has suffered a "betrayal" from his former teammates. Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes, with whom Cristiano played for six years, named Messi as the best of the pair. However, World Cup winners Zinedine Zidane and Roberto Carlos as well as Portugal winger Nani believe Cristiano should be called the greatest of all time.
Messi and Ronaldo frequently comment on each other’s performances.
Cristiano has repeatedly said that his duel with Messi in Spain’s La Liga made him a better player, while Messi noted that the rivalry between the two will remain forever.