In the never-ending debate regarding who the greatest footballer of all time is, it has now been claimed that Lionel Messi is better than both Pele and Diego Maradona were.
With the Argentina captain having recently broken Pele's longstanding record for the highest-scoring South American footballer in history, comparisons between the two footballing icons have once again been drawn.
Scroll through the gallery below to see some past and present stars who are widely considered to be among the greatest footballers of all time
Messi is also on the back of winning a record-breaking seventh Ballon d'Or, but the argument that he needs to win a FIFA World Cup like Pele and Maradona did persists as, in some quarters, it is believed that it is the only way he could be considered the greatest player ever.
However, for former Liverpool and England defender Jamie Carragher, the Paris Saint-Germain superstar is the best ever even without that coveted world title.
"People always throw Pele and Maradona into the best-ever argument, but I think what Messi has done year-in and year-out in the Champions League trumps that," Carragher said in Jason Pettigrove's soon-to-be-released book Messi – The King of Camp Nou.
"Unfortunately, people will always say things like 'he never did this, won that'. It's the same for Liverpool in some seasons. Whatever we achieved, we got opposition fans saying 'well, you didn't win the league'.
"The reality is that it can be to do with the manager at the time, the squad of players, the opposition, whatever… Messi could even legitimately argue that he wasn't even playing in the best international team in the world."
Here are 16 stunning records Messi holds, per UEFA