Lionel Messi ahead of Michael Jordan, Ronaldo and Diego Maradona, says former Barcelona star

Ben Hayward
AFP via Getty Images

Former Barcelona and Real Madrid midfielder Robert Prosinecki believes Lionel Messi is not only the greatest footballer of all time, but also ahead of basketball legend Michael Jordan in the list of sporting greats.

Comparisons between Jordan and Messi have been made during the recent airing of ESPN documentary 'The Last Dance', which tells the story of MJ's final season with the Chicago Bulls.

"It is different, basketball and football," Prosinecki told Stats Perform News. "But Messi is surely for me the best.

"He is a player who has made differences for many years in Barcelona. He has won everything he could win. He scored many goals and assisted many times too. He plays different football to the others."

Prosinecki, who had short spells at both Madrid and Barca in the 1990s, believes the Brazilian Ronaldo is the footballer who comes closest to the Argentine.

... while Michael Jordan won six NBA titles during his illustrious basketball career (AFP via Getty Images)

"Maybe some people will say [Diego] Maradona, Ronaldo... I don't know," he said. "There have been amazing players. They are from two different eras. For me he (Messi) is the best one. They are different to others. Ronaldo is surely one of the best.

"Some people would say Cristiano Ronaldo, but (the Brazilian) Ronaldo didn't just play at Barcelona. He also had some amazing seasons at Inter [Milan].

"He used to beat rivals almost himself alone. Incredible. They are players who make differences. At Real Madrid too. Where didn't he perform?

"For sure he was a great player. However, if I have to say one, for me the best is Leo Messi."