KEY POINTS

  • Ze Roberto said he has a better physique than Cristiano Ronaldo for now
  • The Brazil legend said Lionel Messi needs to secure a World Cup before he can call himself the greatest in the sport
  • Roberto says Messi is more loved in Brazil than fellow countryman Neymar

Brazil legend Ze Roberto has said he believes Lionel Messi needs a World Cup to be hailed as the greatest of all time. He also said in his new interview that he has a better physique than Cristiano Ronaldo for now as he managed to play until the age of 43.

During his lengthy career, former Real Madrid and Bayern Munich star Roberto was known for his chiseled body and bulging muscles. In fact, even to this day, the Brazilian still maintains a fit body.

In a recent interview with TyC Sports, the 46-year-old was asked who had a better physique as a professional athlete between him and Ronaldo. Roberto said that, at the moment, he beats Ronaldo because he only retired from playing competitive football matches at the age of 43. Roberto added that he will only concede if “CR7” proves he is still fit when he reaches that age.

"Today I would say that I have a better physique because I played until I was 43 years old. If he does, I will say it is him,” Roberto said.

Given his tenure in the sport, Roberto also has his pick in the greatest of all-time debate. Just like other legends on the same footing as him, Roberto believes Messi has a shot at the top rank. However, the Brazilian icon pointed out that the Argentine must first secure a major international trophy under his name before he can call himself the greatest of all time.

"I'd be delighted if Messi won the World Cup because then he could call himself the best player in history. It's the only thing he's missing in his career,” Roberto said.

ronaldo messi Sir Alex Ferguson chose Cristiano Ronaldo, left, over Lionel Messi, right, when discussing who's the better of the Ballon d'Or winners. Photo: Getty Images

For Roberto, there is no other player better than Messi. He even said that Messi is more loved in their hometown than his fellow countryman, Neymar.

"In Brazil, there are lots of kids that like Messi more than Neymar because the way Messi plays is very similar to how Brazilians play," he revealed.

Roberto left the European leagues in 2011. After leaving Hamburg, he spent a season in Qatar when he moved to Al-Gharafa. At 38, Roberto went on to play for another five years in his native Brazil, first with Gremio, then Palmeiras, where he finished his glittering career in 2017.