The former Argentina international says despite idolising the 1986 World Cup winner, he rates the current Barcelona star higher
Messi has won the last four Ballons d'Or and has collected a total of 21 trophies during his Camp Nou career, but, unlike his former Albiceleste boss, has not claimed any major international trophies.
However, when asked by a fan who is the stronger player, the former Inter and Chelsea attacker did not hesitate in opting for Messi.
"I grew up with Diego, for me he was my idol, but I also played with Messi [for Argentina]," Crespo, 38, said during Heineken's #sharethesofa video chat, which was broadcast live on Goal at half-time during Barca's clash with AC Milan on Wednesday night.
"Maradona or Messi? I prefer Messi, but you can never forget history," was the view of Crespo, who himself also once played for AC Milan.
Aptly enough, Messi had already at this point opened the scoring in Barca's encounter with the Rossoneri, and went on to double his tally with another strike in the second half. His side eventually ended the clash as 3-1 winners, a result which secured their qualification from the Champions League group stages.