Former Barcelona midfielder Rivaldo has sensationally claimed that he would've been able to challenge Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, had they played during his time as a footballer.

Earlier this month saw Ronaldo pick up his fifth Ballon d'Or trophy, equalling Messi's record, and continuing the domination over the footballing world that the two players have created during the last decade.

And now, as everyone looks on to this weekend's Clasico encounter between the ​Barcelona and ​Real Madrid, the pair dominate the headlines. But former Brazil legend Rivaldo seems to think that the two have it easy playing in this generation of footballers:

"If Ronaldo won is because he deserved it," Rivaldo told Betfair (via Goal) when discussing the latest Ballon d'Or result. "In my time there were more players than today challenging for being the best in the world.

"I remember Figo, Del Piero or Totti, now you always hear about the same players and I am pretty sure I could challenge with Messi and Ronaldo because football was harder in my times.

"I am not here for controversy, I'll just say that both are very good players. However, in my time you could find more quality players than today, in which you only hear about Messi, Ronaldo and Neymar."


With that said, the 45-year-old still recognises the incredible ability of both players leading up to Saturday's encounter at the Bernabeu:

"I would like to play with Messi, it would be amazing. He is the best of the world, the one who makes more differences," Rivaldo said.

"Ronaldo? He is the most dangerous player at Real.

"It is hard to stop him, like Messi, because both score a lot of goals and you never know what is going to be the next thing they will invent for scoring."