Simao Sabrosa rates Barcelona star Lionel Messi ahead of his Portugal teammate Cristiano Ronaldo, the Real Madrid ace.

Atletico Madrid midfielder Simao believes Argentinian ace Messi has taken the ex-Manchester United man's crown as the world's best player.

And asked who he would pick on his side, Simao incredibly said: "I'd choose Messi.

"Messi is going through a fantastic phase - he has it all with Barcelona.

"He is scoring a lot, has no injuries, is strong, fast, a great dribbler and he is a player any football lover would pay to watch.

"Ronaldo was the best in 2008, 2009 and now in 2010 Messi is fantastic."