Lionel Messi deserved to win the 2021 Ballon d'Or, according to Rivaldo, but the Argentine isn't the best player of all time.
The Paris Saint-Germain star scooped up his seventh Ballon d'Or award, edging out Robert Lewandowski, earning 33 more points than his counterpart.
And while his win was subject to scrutiny from peers and fans alike, Rivaldo believes Messi was the right man for the award, but insisted the 34-year-old isn't the GOAT just yet.
The Brazilian told Betfair, via Football365: "He [Messi] deserved the award based on his performances for Argentina as they won the Copa America - a trophy they have coveted for many years - and he was the best player of the tournament.
"There will always be arguments about the Ballon d'Or, as there are so many voters from all over the world and there is so much footballing talent around.
"I could have made the case for Karim Benzema, along with Lewandowski and Messi, but in the end the award must go to one player. It's possible the Argentinian's amazing career also had some influence on those voters who were wavering."
Rivaldo added: "He will be remembered as one of the best players ever, but it's tough to say he already is the best, as he is still chasing a World Cup title with Argentina.
"Other players, such as Pele, won the World Cup many times so I don't think Messi should be considered the best ever. He is up there, though, and would make the top three."
Pele has not one but three World Cup triumphs to his name while Messi only won his first major international trophy last summer.