'Messi will win more Ballons d'Or' - Barcelona star tipped to stay at the top by Rivaldo

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A former favourite at Camp Nou believes the mercurial Argentine still has many years ahead of him, with further personal prizes to be expected

Lionel Messi has been tipped to land more Ballons d’Or by Rivaldo, with the Barcelona star expected to remain at the top for “three or four years”.

The mercurial Argentine has seen his efforts over recent seasons eclipsed by eternal rival Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Portuguese has been named the best player on the planet in four of the last five years, with his roll of honour in that particular field now matching that of Messi.

Barca, though, are expecting their talisman to continue raising the bar and challenging for top prizes, with Rivaldo convinced that there is still plenty to come from a modern-day icon.

The former Camp Nou star, who landed the Ballon d’Or himself in 1999, told Mundo Deportivo: “Messi has everything to get more Golden Balls.

“I think he'll end up with more trophies because he still has three or four years left at his best level.”

Rivaldo Lionel Messi Ballon d'Or

Messi and Ronaldo now have five Ballon d’Or wins apiece, with the former having claimed four in a row between 2009 and 2012.

An intriguing duel between two men set to join the list of all-time greats once their playing days are over appears set to captivate audiences for some time yet.

Debate regarding who is the greatest continues to divide opinion, though, with Rivaldo conceding that both bring different qualities to remarkable skill sets.

The Brazilian World Cup winner added: “With Messi, the quality of Leo is different from that of Cristiano.

“The Argentine has more quality with the ball, although Cristiano is also very good and very professional.”

Messi has 19 goals to his name across all competitions this season, compared to Ronaldo’s haul of 16.

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The Argentine leads the La Liga scoring charts with 15, while his Portuguese rival tops the charts in Europe.

Ronaldo has plundered nine Champions League goals so far, taking his tally in continental competition to 115.

Messi is still three efforts short of reaching a century, but he will hope to pass that landmark as Barca chase down major silverware on multiple fronts.

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