The iconic Dutchman has nothing but praise for both La Liga stars and sees Brazil and Spain as the teams to beat at the World Cup
Ronaldo beat his Primera Division rival to the 2013 Ballon d'Or after Messi had won the the award three times in a row but the Dutchman stressed that he thoroughly enjoys watching both players when they are at their best.
"Messi and Ronaldo are the two most beautiful players now and with distinctive styles. One is purely technical while the other is physical as well," Cruyff told The Times of India, "and I like to watch both of them since this tells you clearly how different the game can be.
"Football is such a wonderful game because of its variations and its acceptance of every style. I like watching both at their best."
Cruyff then went on to discuss this summer's World Cup and argued that several teams have a chance at winning the tournament, although he does not expect England to make much of an impact.
"There are quite a few teams that can win the World Cup," he remarked. "Brazil are one of the contenders. They are the hosts and they had shown in the Confederations Cup what they can do. Yes, the pressure of expectations will be there.
"Spain has not lost their aura, although those champions are four years older now. Germany and Italy are always considered big threats since they do play well in the World Cup. Argentina with Lionel Messi and Portugal with Cristiano Ronaldo are among the favourites, too. However, I don't think England will be able to surprise."