The former striker prefers the Argentine over the Portugal forward and believes Brazil will come good in time for the World Cup.
The Primera Division stars are seen by many as the best two players in the world at present, and Ronaldo has nothing but praise for the Argentine, also voicing his admiration for Portugal's shining light.
"Messi is a little above Cristiano Ronaldo in my opinion," the former Brazil star was quoted as saying by CNN. "I give preference to Messi, because he's a player who fascinates us more, who shows more creativity - even though he's from Argentina, which has a big rivalry with Brazil.
"I admire both players, though."
The 35-year-old then went on to discuss the future of young compatriot Neymar, and stressed that he needs to move to Europe in order to make the next step forward.
"I think Neymar still has a phase to compete, to play in Europe and triumph playing in Europe."
Ronaldo is eagerly anticipating the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, and even though the Selecao have been unable to impress in recent years, the former attacker is hopeful they can challenge for the trophy in two years time.
"I think in the last victories we had in the World Cup [1994 and 2002], the team was traditionally created in the last year. So I think we still have time," he added. "We have Neymar, who is a huge talent, Pato, Thiago Silva, who is another excellent defender. Ganso, Oscar. We have a very young team, but it's playing at a high level and gives us big hope for a victory."
Brazil was eliminated in the quarterfinals at both the 2006 and 2010 World Cups.
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