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Cristiano Ronaldo may have taken the Argentine's Ballon d'Or crown on Monday, but the defender still believes that his Barcelona colleague is peerless

Lionel Messi is the greatest player of all time, according to Barcelona team-mate Gerard Pique.

The Argentine lost his Ballon d'Or crown to Real Madrid ace Cristiano Ronaldo earlier this week but the Spain international is adamant that the Blaugrana No.10 remains in a league all of his own.

"In my opinion, he isn't just the best in the world, he's the best there's ever been," Pique told Bleacher Report.

Messi made headlines again at the Ballon d'Or gala for another flamboyant suit but Pique insists that the 26-year-old attacker is still the same humble kid he first encountered at La Masia over a decade ago.

"[He] hasn't changed at all since then," the centre-half revealed. "I was 12 when I met him and you could already see he was one of a kind.

"[But at La Masia you were taught to] be respectful, humble and work in a team. It didn't matter how good you were, if you didn't follow Barcelona's moral code, then you had no future at the club."

Meanwhile, in ruling out a future in coaching after he retires, Pique mused: "Who knows? Maybe I'll be Barcelona president one day!"

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