Romario says he was the 'Messi' of his time

Romario training with PSV

The Brazilian legend believes his impact on the game matched what the Argentinian is currently doing for the sport.

Former Brazil and Barcelona star Romario says his value to world football in his heyday was on a par with Lionel Messi.

The 48-year-old scored over 300 goals in nearly 450 appearances in his professional career and is widely regarded as one of the game's greatest ever strikers.

It is statistics like those which make Romario's comparisons with Messi somewhat legitimate.

He said: 'Currently, [Neymar] plays alongside one of the world's best [Lionel Messi] and can learn a lot from him. I was "the Messi" of my era, other players would have liked to have learnt from me.'

On the other hand such talk is egotistical and indeed there is the persuasion that Messi has already reached a higher level than Romario ever did.  Certainly at club level there isn't so much of an argument. The number 10 has claimed more european cups and league titles. Then again, Romario has a World Cup winners medal in his favour.

Either way it is hard to say for sure whether Romario was the 'Messi of his time. If only the individual and individual alone is looked at, then Messi has been recognised as the world's best player on four occasions whereas Romario's won the accolade once.

Ultimately the sense is when player comparisons are made it usually has more to do with playing style then outright achievements. That is primarily why Lionel Messi was hailed as the new Diego Maradona when he burst onto the scene, and not simply because he came from the same country.

And vice versa. If there is such a thing as a 'Messi' of a previous generation, then it was Maradona who came the closest.

Do you agree with Romario that he was the Messi of his era?

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