Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has made a big claim about Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo's careers as rivals.
With Messi and Ronaldo sharing a record 11 Ballon d'Or awards between them, the competitive rivalry between the two stars has elevated the pair to unimaginable heights, seeing them share various individual records across their trophy-laden careers.
Scroll through the gallery below to see five players who have won the Ballon d'Or at least three times or more, per Statista
The healthy competition between the duo stretches more than a decade, and City boss Guardiola, whose team will go up against Messi's Paris Saint-Germain in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday night, believes the superstars' achievements could very possibly never be matched.
"I don't imagine [a duopoly like theirs will happen again] as what these two guys have done will be almost impossible to imitate," he said in a press conference ahead of the UCL tie.
"Maybe I will see it but I don't think it's going to happen – scoring this amount of goals, the amount of titles both had done.
"It is so difficult. I think it is unique in history to find two players like Cristiano and Messi do what they have done."
Messi also remarked on his relationship with Ronaldo in an interview with Marca earlier this week.
"It's been a long time since we stopped competing in the same league," the 34-year-old Argentine said.
"We competed individually and as a team for the same goals. It was a very beautiful stage for us and also for the people because they enjoyed it very much.
"It is a beautiful memory that will remain in the history of football."
Here are the 11 nominees for The Best FIFA Men's Player 2021 award, including Messi and Ronaldo