By Fitzgerald Cecilio

Malaga, Spain

Malaga striker Javier Saviola has picked Barcelona star Lionel Messi over Portuguese skipper Cristiano Ronaldo as the best player in the world actively playing at a professional level.

"For me it should be Messi. He surpasses all adjectives. I am a lover of what he has to offer, how he plays and the things he does on a football pitch," said Saviola, adding he is very lucky to be born in an era where he can see Messi perform day in and day out.

"I must give thanks and be happy I was born in the same century just to see Messi play," added Saviola, who will have a chance to face Messi in the UEFA Champions League after signing a one-year deal with Malaga.

To back up his claim, the 30-year-old Saviola said his fellow Argentine has managed to win each and every individual honor, and has notably won the Ballon d'Or thrice in succession.

"Those are things for others. Being one of the best players in history never lets you relax and he is under a lot of pressure, but Messi is proving how great he is," Saviola added.

Saviola pointed out that stated that the only thing left for Messi to do is to win the FIFA World Cup to match what other soccer legends have accomplished.

"Winning the World Cup is the last thing left for him. I didn't see others such as Pele and Di Stefano so it is difficult to comment "However, of those of us currently playing Messi is the best," said Saviola.

Messi is currently in contention to win the Ballon d'Or award, and if he manages to do it, he will become the only player to win the award four times in a row.

He recently helped Argentina to a 1-1 draw Peru as the FIFA World Cup 2014's qualifiers have started in South America.

After leaving Benfica, Saviola will play his first game with Malaga against Levante. Malaga recently defeated Zaragoza, 1-0.

Saviola is eyeing to relaunch his career in Spain after riding the bench at Benfica this season. During his time in Benfica, he scored 24 goals in 69 appearances.

Saviola also played for Real Madrid for three years until 2009 but only had 28 appearances.


Malaga Striker Saviola Calls Messi 'Best Active Player'