The former Selecao star believes the Barcelona ace has the edge over his rival for the Ballon d'Or both in terms of ability on the field and personality off it
Ronaldo, along with Andres Iniesta, is competing with Messi for this year's highest individual accolade, but, despite helping Real Madrid pip Barcelona to Spain's La Liga last season, Denilson believes the award should go to the Argentine.
"Messi is from another planet. He makes everything look so easy. There is no other player that can win the Ballon d'Or. Cristiano has been great, but, Messi has been better. I would put Messi first, Iniesta second and Ronaldo third," Denilson told La Xarxa Radio.
The former Brazil international, who made over 60 appearances for his country, believes Ronaldo is also a little behind Messi in terms of humility.
"Cristiano has to be more humble. The other day I heard him asked what player he thinks is the best in the world and he said himself," he continued.
"Messi was asked the same question and said that he thinks Iniesta is the best, his teammate at Barcelona, and this demonstrated his humility."