Ancelotti reluctant to declare Messi as the best in history

Carlo Ancelotti has made it abundantly clear that he will never declare Lionel Messi as the greatest football of all time.

Victory at the World Cup with Argentina handed Messi the one prize that had previously escaped his clutches, adding to a trophy cabinet that boasts four Champions League medals, 10 LaLiga titles and seven Ballon d'Or wins.

That has reignited the debate surrounding who the greatest player in history is, with Messi's standing receiving a boost against the likes of Pele and Diego Maradona.

While some are now happy to declare Messi as the greatest of all time, those are words that Real Madrid boss Ancelotti, who has coached the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Karim Benzema, will never utter.

"It's a hard thing to say. His career continues, whether he has a World Cup or not," he said in a press conference.

"In every era there have been very strong players, a lot. 'Messi is the best in history' will not come out of my mouth.

Lionel Messi dragged Argentina to glory in Qatar
Lionel Messi dragged Argentina to glory in Qatar

"I enjoy the best, I have seen Maradona, [Johan] Cruyff, I coach the current Ballon d'Or winner [Benzema]. I don't know who is 'the best ever'."

Ancelotti has been linked with taking over as coach of Argentina's great rivals Brazil, but the Italian reiterated his commitment to Madrid.

"I don't know if they are interested, because they haven't contacted me," he said.

"I appreciate it, in any case, but my situation is very clear: I am happy in this adventure and I will continue until Madrid tell me 'it's over'."