No Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi? Gonzalo Higuain picks three players who are 'the best'

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Gonzalo Higuain has had things pretty good during his footballing career.

Not only has the Argentine had the pleasure of starring for world-class clubs such as Real Madrid and Juventus, but he's also shared dressing rooms with Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

It's a rarer feat than you might imagine with Higuain joining an exclusive club that includes the likes of Gerard Pique and Henrik Larsson in being able to call both superstars former teammates.

Higuain's remarkable teammates

By way of sharing the same nationality as Messi, Higuain has played alongside the Barcelona superstar countless times during an Argentina spell that brought three heart-breaking final defeats.

Meanwhile, the former Chelsea striker rubbed shoulders with Ronaldo for four seasons at the Bernabeu, before reuniting for a final campaign together last year in Turin under Maurizio Sarri.

If nothing else, it must have given Higuain some pretty remarkable anecdotes to tell his friends seeing as Messi and Ronaldo boast an insane 11 Ballon d'Or trophies between them.

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Higuain winding down his career

However, the era of their dominance is slowly coming to an end and Higuain will be acutely aware of the advancing reality of retirement as he begins to wind down his own career at Inter Miami.

Now, no offence to Higuain, but we think Ronaldo and Messi will be pressing the brake pedal a little less aggressively through their thirties, though the signs of stagnation are certainly there.

Higuain himself has clearly picked up on them, too, because the highest-paid athlete in the MLS didn't name either of his former teammates when asked for the best three players right now.

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Higuain picks Lewa, Haaland and Benzema

According to AS, Higuain told ESPN: "Currently, for me, the best are Lewandowski, Haaland and Benzema. Karim has been there for a long time, in the elite for 12 years.

"Lewandowski, where he played, scored and won. Haaland is a great promise, with a great future. He surprised me, he is a great striker."

It makes sense that Lewandowski would get the nod as the unofficial winner of the 2020 Ballon d'Or, but Benzema, who boasts six goals in 11 games this season, seems a little more tenuous.

Manchester United target Erling Braut Haaland then rounds off the top three with the Borussia Dortmund striker still a figure of interest at Old Trafford, according to reports in The Athletic.

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R9 prevails overall

But back to Ronaldo for a second because the Juventus man wasn't even included when Higuain started reeling off some of the greatest players of all time, including CR7's Brazilian namesake.

In fact, Ronaldo Nazario was picked out as the best of them all and although Messi was therefore denied GOAT status, the Barca hero did at least earn himself a mention from his compatriot.

"In history we have Suárez, Lewandowski, Cavani, Benzema, David Villa, Ibrahimovic," Higuain mused. "And the best one who, ironically speaking, is in heaven: Ronaldo (Nazario). I always wanted to be Ronaldo, I always wanted to copy him."

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Then, on Messi, he said: "It's magical. Everything is natural. He was born that way, it's in his DNA , he does everything effortlessly. Things that everyone has to fight for, Leo does them naturally That is what makes it unique. "

Well, you do you, Gonzalo, but either we want to know what Cristiano did to annoy you last season or we're curious to find out how your memory failed you so badly when name-dropping the greats.

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