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Former Manchester United and Real Madrid midfielder David Beckham rates Barcelona's Lionel Messi higher than Cristiano Ronaldo. Ronaldo succeeded Beckham as Manchester United's no.7 before arriving at Real Madrid two years after the England captain left the Spanish giants.
Beckham has also experience of playing against a young Lionel Messi in the latter's initial years with Barcelona and faced him once while he was playing for Paris St Germain.
"He [Messi] is alone in his class as a player, it is impossible that there is another like him," Beckham told Telam. "He, like Cristiano Ronaldo, who is not at his level, are both above the rest."
Beckham recalled his last match against Barcelona in the quarter-final of the 2013 Champions League. PSG were ahead at one stage at Camp Nou when Messi came on as a substitute. Eventually, Pedro scored and Barca went through on the away goals rule.
"We were leading before Messi came in, and once he came in, Barcelona scored," Beckham said. He was 37 years old by then and ended his illustrious playing career at the end of the season but Beckham said that he did not enjoy losing that tie.
"Although I enjoyed playing at that level at my age, I do not like to lose. Our team played well. In both matches, we did things we should be proud of. We didn't lose against Barcelona, and that is something that should motivate us," he said.