Lionel Messi is a tougher opponent than Cristiano Ronaldo, says Thiago Silva, a man who has faced both the Barcelona and Real Madrid superstars.
The Paris Saint-Germain defender has tested himself against the best in the business at club level and on an international stage with Brazil.
He is, therefore, better placed than most to pass judgement on which of the mercurial talents poses the greatest threat.
In Silva’s opinion, Messi just edges a man with whom he has shared 10 Ballon d’Or awards , with the Argentine forward proving more difficult to contain that his Portuguese rival.
“It's harder to defend against Lionel Messi than Cristiano Ronaldo,” Silva said in Spanish publication Sport .
“Cristiano deserved to win everything he's won in his career. This year is a bit harder for him but it's not over yet. He could still win the next Ballon d'Or.
“The little difference between them is that Messi, with the ball, one on one, or even against two, is difficult to stop.”
Silva and Co were unable to contain Messi and Barcelona at the last-16 stage of the 2016-17 Champions League, with the La Liga giants staging a stirring fightback at Camp Nou to claim a remarkable 6-5 aggregate success.
Spanish opposition blocks PSG’s path once again this term , with Ronaldo and Real next up for Unai Emery’s side.
The Blancos, who are looking to claim a third successive continental crown, have struggled domestically this season, but will pose a considerable threat in Europe.
Silva will be hoping that his comments do not come back to haunt him as he prepares to lock horns with Ronaldo and endeavour to keep him quiet.