Best FIFA Men's Player winner Cristiano Ronaldo is still behind Lionel Messi, according to Dimitar Berbatov, who said the Barcelona star is "the f*****g greatest".
Berbatov spent a season alongside the now-32-year-old at Manchester United before the latter's move to Real Madrid, but he believes it is the Argentina and Barca talisman who is still the pinnacle of the game.
“He's the f***ing greatest. Ronaldo is brilliant, Messi is more my kind of player," Berbatov told ESPNFC. "He sees the game so clearly. He can score, create, he's the complete player, the best ever probably.”
Berbatov does hold hold the Portugal international as a good example to follow, but says it is his work rate that aspiring players should copy instead of his personal style.
“Young players try and imitate the best players like Ronaldo. They try to imitate the hair, the clothes, the cars, the tricks," he said. "I try to tell them how hard Cristiano Ronaldo trained in training and after training.
"He only wanted to be the best. Everything else came after.”
Berbatov is currently with Kerala Blasters in India and admits it could be his last club. Having represented Bayer Leverkusen, Tottenham and United in his club career, the 36-year-old feels he has often been misunderstood by coaches but gave credit to Sir Alex Ferguson for noticing his real talent.
“I am a striker and people expect strikers to score goals. But I don't see myself as a striker," he added.
"I like to play with the ball and have the freedom to move around. If every player is on the left and I am on the right, you need to trust me that I have seen something the other players have not seen.
"I like it when the coach knows this and allows me to express myself. I felt that Ferguson trusted me.”