Speaking at a press conference in Rio de Janeiro, the 37-year-old explained that the Barcelona ace or Real Madrid star would be his first choice to represent the 2014 World Cup hosts, even ahead of former Argentina forward Diego Maradona.
"I would love it if there was a Messi or a Cristiano Ronaldo rejected by their country that could play in the Brazilian team," he said. “I would prefer Messi to Diego [Maradona], even though Diego is also my friend.”
Atletico Madrid’s Diego Costa’s desire to represent Spain at international level, despite being born in Brazil and playing two friendlies for the Selecao, has reignited the debate over international eligibility, but Ronaldo insisted that such developments are nothing new.
"Players who are not used in their own country and have a second citizenship are used by other countries," noted the former Barcelona and Real Madrid striker.
Ronaldo’s comments also come in the wake of reports that the England Football Association was considering using Manchester United’s Adnan Januzaj at senior level, if and when the winger becomes available.
The 18-year-old was born in Belgium, and under Fifa rules is also eligible to represent Albania, Kosovo, Serbia and Turkey.