Former Orlando Pirates midfielder Andile Cele did not mince his words when discussing Bucs' current squad.
"To be honest, any player can play for Pirates nowadays. In the past, Pirates were equal to (Kaizer) Chiefs and you could compare them to (Real) Madrid and (FC) Barcelona in Spain," Cele told Isolezwe.
"Not everyone can just sign for Barcelona and share the same dressing room with (Lionel) Messi - it takes a special player or quality to be in the same dressing room with him," he stressed.
The former South Africa youth international went on to question Bucs captain Oupa Manyisa's quality.
"If a top player at Pirates is Manyisa then this means any player who scores one or two goals in the ABC Motsepe League can be signed by Pirates," he said.
Cele played for Pirates between 2001 and 2004 - winning the 2002/03 Premier Soccer League (PSL) title with the club.
"It was difficult to join Pirates in the past. There was quality, players such as Thabo Mngomeni, Godfrey Sapula as well as Pollen Ndlanya, guys who played overseas," he continued.
"It was not easy to play with them. You had to be at your best to play with them. We came from KwaZulu-Natal and we were a finished product, quality (players).
"Even people would notice that we were ready to play for a big club like Pirates," he concluded.
Bucs endured their worst ever season in the PSL era when they finished 11th in the league during the 2016/17 campaign.