The Croatia legend feels the former Napoli star remains the finest exponent the game has ever seen, but backs the Barcelona man to reach similar heightsFormer Croatia international Davor Suker believes Diego Maradona was a superior footballer to Barcelona's Lionel Messi.
Messi lifted his fourth Ballon d'Or in January before going on to clinch his sixth Liga title with Barcelona, after breaking yet another goalscoring record for netting in consecutive games in the season.
But Suker believes the forward, who turns 26 on Monday, will need to improve his success level with Argentina before he can overtake Maradona as the finest player the game has seen.
"I think Maradona is better," the 45-year-old told Fifa.com.
"Messi’s time will come though: he’ll score loads of goals, break even more records, but he needs to win something with Argentina. He’s very young and his time will come – I wish him all the best."
The former Real Madrid striker went on to praise current Blancos star Cristiano Ronaldo, claiming the rest of the world can only admire the exploits of the Portugal captain and Messi in the modern game.
"It has to be said that Messi and Cristiano are out of this world – they’re so far ahead of the pack. They can be compared with the likes of Pele, Maradona, [Johan] Cruyff, [Franz] Beckenbauer – this era belongs to them."