Former Croatia international Robert Prosinecki has admitted that he would pick Andres Iniesta over Lionel Messi if he could only have one to play in his team.
The 43-year-old, who is currently coach of Red Star Belgrade and the assistant coach with the Croatian national team from 2006 to 2010, spoke of his admiration for both players and the philosophy of his former club Barcelona, while reserving extra praise for the Spanish midfielder.
"When I see Lionel Messi these days, I can’t recall ever having seen another player do what he does," Prosinecki said on the official Fifa website.
"But the player I’d choose for my side – a player who really has that something extra and can make the difference in a team – is Andres Iniesta."
"Winning is important, but winning and playing well is even more so. It’s the club’s [Red Star's] philosophy and mine too.
"It’s not the most original thing to say, but all coaches who aspire to that try to take inspiration from Barcelona.
"We obviously can’t do the same as them, because what they do is unique. But we can certainly try."
Prosinecki continued by discussing his time at Real Madrid and Barcelona and despite a deep veneration of the Catalan side he confessed that he would prefer to return to play with the Santiago Bernabeu outfit.
"All players dream of playing for Real or Barca - I played for both of them! I don’t think there are that many players who have worn both shirts and left good impressions at both clubs.
"I think that, as a player, I would feel very good in the current Barca side. But I’m a Real Madrid man!
"And even though I appreciate the playing philosophy and style of Barcelona, I would prefer to play for Real again."
Prosinecki's Croatia will take on Iniesta and Spain in the final Group C clash at Euro 2012 on Monday, June 18.