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‘There Are 3 Geniuses In Football, CR7 Not One Of Them’

A former Real Madrid coach has insisted that, although Cristiano Ronaldo is an "extraordinary player", he is not one of football's three geniuses, with one of them being his longstanding rival Lionel Messi.

Click through the mini-gallery above to see who Fabio Capello considers to be football's three geniuses.

Retired Italian tactician Fabio Capello was twice in charge of Los Blancos, in 1996/97 and again in 2006/07, winning the LaLiga title on both occasions.

Capello was full of praise for Ronaldo following his Man of the Match performance with a hat-trick against Atletico Madrid, but also insisted he is not at the level of Messi, Pele and Diego Maradona.

"Ronaldo's an extraordinary footballer, but Messi is a genius," he told Sky Sport Italia.

"There are three geniuses in football: Pele, Maradona and Messi. Period. Ronaldo is very strong as he lets you win everything, but Messi is a genius and something else.

Watch: Giggs on Messi & Ronaldo

"I faced Messi when he was 16 years old and I was amazed. He did the same things he does today but 20 years younger because he was born a genius.

"He invents things that others don't see. Ronaldo has made himself a champion, but not a genius."

Read: Messi Breaks CR7 Spanish Hat-Trick Record, But Trails Overall

Ronaldo has scored 24 goals and assisted another 12 strikes in 36 appearances in all competitions for Juventus so far this season, but was overtaken by Fabio Quagliarella in the Capocannoniere race for the top goalscorer in Serie A after being rested for the Bianconeri's past two league games.

Do you agree with Capello that Ronaldo, unlike Messi, Pele and Maradona, is not a football genius? Have your say in the comments section below.

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