The debate over the world's top player has taken a bizarre twist with the Barcelona director of football's extraordinary assessment of Lionel Messi's great rivalAndoni Zubizarreta fanned the flames of football's most heated player rivalry with a cheeky swipe at Cristiano Ronaldo in the wake of Barcelona's 3-1 win against AC Milan.
Barcelona's director of football was delighted with the return to form of Lionel Messi - who scored two goals to end a barren run - and could not resist a putdown of the Argentine's great rival.
Asked about the Messi-Ronaldo debate over who is the world's top player, Zubizarreta insisted the Ballon d'Or holder is peerless but also claimed that even reserve forward Cristian Tello is superior to Real Madrid's star player.
"In this game, we saw Messi's character, he is working so good and knows that he has our confidence," Zubizarreta told Spanish TV station Canal +.
"Messi is the best of the world but, for me, Tello is even better than Cristiano, any FC Barcelona player is better for me."
After his side qualified for the knockout stages of the Champions League at Camp Nou, Zubizarreta also spoke of their development as a team under new coach Gerardo Martino.
"We know where we are going with him," added the former Spain goalkeeper. "We will be still playing with our own style.
"At Barcelona to win is not just okay, we have also to play well. This is what this jersey means. Martino knows it and he is adapting very well."
Ronaldo recently received an apology from Fifa president Sepp Blatter for disparaging remarks made about him in appearance at Oxford University.