The Barcelona star and Real Madrid talisman have both been named in the final three for the 2014 Ballon d'Or alongside Bayern Munich and Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.
And Messi's former Barca team-mate insists that the Argentina captain is the better of La Liga's superstars.
"We players asked [then Barca coach] Frank Rijkaard to bring Messi into the first team’s training sessions," he told El Enganche.
"Cristiano Ronaldo is a very complete player, but Messi is better because he has magic."
The former Brazil star revealed that he almost joined Manchester United, but it was former president Sandro Rosell who convinced him to join the Camp Nou side.
"Everything was beautiful and happened fast. A great friend of mine was about to become a part of the Barcelona board: Sandro Rosell.
"Before the offers came, he had asked me if I would play in Barcelona when they won the election and became the presidents, and I had said 'Yes'.
"I was almost on my way to Manchester United and only the details needed to be put onto that deal. But in the last minute Rosell called me to tell me they would win the election. That made everything happen fast.
"I wanted to play in Barcelona. When I signed, I didn’t feel pressure, I felt joy. I had the chance that all of the players wanted, to play in a great club like Barcelona.
"I had the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of my idols. I was proud to play where Romario, Ronaldo and Rivaldo had played and I had the chance to be Barcelona’s new 'R'. I loved that."