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The Brazil legend believes the Real Madrid coach was superior to the Argentine during his playing days, hinting that the 26-year-old is helped by his talented Barcelona team-mates

Pele says Zinedine Zidane was a better player than Lionel Messi when he was at his peak but revealed he would vote for the Barcelona star ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo to win the Ballon d'Or.

Zidane lifted the World Cup and European Championship with France during his playing days as well as the Champions League and then the Ballon d'Or with Real Madrid.

Messi has been widely-heralded as arguably the greatest player of all-time having won the Ballon d'Or a record four times, but Brazil legend Pele does not share that same point of view.

He told reporters: "Individually, I think Zidane was better than Messi. Zidane was amazing and the team-mates he played with were not the same standard as Messi’s; he plays with Xavi and Iniesta at Barcelona."

The Argentina international is again expected to be among the frontrunners to lift the game's most prestigious individual prize, with Cristiano Ronaldo and Franck Ribery his closest rivals for the crown.

And Pele admitted he would vote for Messi ahead of the aforementioned duo, while fellow Selecao legend Rivelino rubbished comparisons between the forward and Albiceleste great Diego Maradona.

"I would vote for Messi because of his technique," Pele added.

Rivelino stated: "In my opinion, Neymar is technically better than Messi. There’s no way you can compare Messi to Maradona. He fitted perfectly into a team where everything worked. This year another player will win."

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