Former Argentina international Hugo Gatti believes that Barcelona attacker Lionel Messi would have struggled for regular first-team football in the era of players such as Pele, Johan Cruyff and Diego Maradona.
Messi is considered by many to be one of the best players in the history of the game and could be awarded the Ballon d'Or for the third year in succession next week.
However, the 67-year-old Gatti is not impressed with his compatriot and feels Messi would have been a bench-warmer in previous decades.
"The best player ever is without any doubt Pele. After that you have Alfredo [Di Stefano], [Johan] Cruyff, and Diego [Maradona]," Gatti said in an interview with Radio La Red.
"In those times, Messi would have been a substitute rather than a star.
"All of these Barcelona players who say they play for the best team in the world would have been bench-warmers in the times of Maradona and Cruyff."
Gatti made 18 international appearances for Argentina between 1967 and 1977.
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