Martin Cardetti said he would choose former Paris Saint-Germain team-mate Ronaldinho over Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi.
Ronaldinho enjoyed a stellar career with Barca, Brazil, Milan and PSG, winning the 2005 Ballon d’Or, World Cup, Champions League and La Liga among other honours.
Messi – regarded as arguably the greatest footballer ever – has claimed a record six Ballons d’Or to go with 10 La Liga crowns, four Champions League medals and more trophies.
But Cardetti, who spent a season playing alongside Ronaldinho at PSG before the Brazilian moved to Barca in 2003, told Crack Deportivo: “As a coach, for my team I would choose Ronaldinho at his best over Messi.
“I shared a year with Ronaldinho and he is a different player, he’s touched by God.
“He always had fun; with the ball he was always doing things and he practiced a lot so that he could replicate those things in matches.”
On Ronaldinho, Argentinian Cardetti added: “You see him in training, in matches and every move he makes is different from everyone,” he added.
“Players like him appear very rarely and they are remembered in football history.
“I’m proud to have been a teammate of that kind of player.”
Ronaldinho has been in the news of late after he and his brother Roberto Assis were arrested in Paraguay in early March for allegedly using fake documents to enter the country.
After spending a month in prison, a judge decided that the duo can live in a hotel in Asuncion while they await trial on their charges.
Speaking to Paraguayan television network ABC Color from the Palmaroga hotel in the Paraguayan capital, the 40-year-old former Brazil international said they came to the country to be at the launch of an online casino.
Former Ballon D’Or winner Ronaldinho, part of Brazil’s 2002 World Cup-winning squad, said the entire situation had been very hard and he was working with the police to try and resolve matters.
He said: “We were totally surprised to learn that the documents were not legal. Since then our intention has been to collaborate with the justice system to clarify the facts.
“From that moment until today, we have explained everything and facilitated everything that has been requested of us.”
Speaking of the moment he was told he was going to jail, Ronaldinho said: “It was a hard blow, I never imagined that I would go through such a situation. All my life I have sought to reach the highest professional level and bring joy to people with my football.”