Having played alongside Lionel Messi with both FC Barcelona and Argentina, Javier Mascherano knows the record-six-time Ballon d'Or winner better than most, and he has now explained what he thinks separates him from football's other greats.
Mascherano played alongside Messi at Barca between 2010 and 2018, where the pair helped the club to no fewer than 19 major honours, and with Argentina between 2005 and 2018, and he has now shared his views on what makes the 32-year-old so special.
"The majority of good players make good decisions, but they don't execute them in the best way, or vice versa – the execution is good, but it doesn't end up being the best decision," the current Estudiantes star told radio programme Cielosports, per The World Game.
Click through the gallery below to see 10 managers who waded into the Messi vs Ronaldo debate:
"What makes the difference in football is decision-making and execution, and Leo does both things well, and at an incredible speed, and that's why he's different.
"Normally, the game dominates us and takes you with it, but in Leo's case it's the other way around: he decides what to do or what not to do with the game.
"He knows how to save his strength and that allows him, during a match, to have seven, eight or 10 important actions at 100%. That's how he can dominate the game."
Mascherano is Argentina's most capped player of all time, having represented La Albiceleste on 147 occasions, and actually made his senior international debut before his professional club debut.
Do you think Messi is the greatest player of all time? Share your thoughts by commenting in the section below.