Maradona: Speed of thought separates best

Diego Maradona believes there is one trait that sets himself and Lionel Messi apart from the rest when it comes to discussing the best players of all time: speed of thought.

For many years Maradona was one half of the great debate as to who was the best ever player, him or Brazilian Pele. But with Messi's recent record-breaking exploits, many consider him to be a legitimate contender for that theoretic title.

And while Maradona has never been shy in publicising his own claims over Pele's, he is less willing to blow his own trumpet when compared to his Argentinian compatriot.

"The [best player] lists make me laugh but there is one ability, most of all one, that no one has ever had like Leo and myself: speed of thought," Maradona told Gazzetta dello Sport.

There is one ability, most of all one, that no one has ever had like Leo and myself: speed of thought.
Diego Maradona

"When I coached him the thing I saw in him that reminded me of myself was the lightning understanding of how the move would develop.

"It's an innate quality worthy of a computer. Had we been able to communicate with someone who thought at the same speed we could have both given even more."

Looking just at today's players, Maradona says Messi is in a league of his own but he has a surprise in his top three.

"My rankings would be Messi, [Cristiano] Ronaldo and then Ibra [Zlatan Ibrahimovic] and [Wayne] Rooney together, and [Sergio] Kun Aguero is in the top ten but he's rising."