Lionel Messi has been named in the list of Ballon d'Or nominees list for 2023. The Argentine icon won the World Cup last year for his country. It was Argentina's first World Cup win since 1986. Considering the way he has been playing for Inter Miami and Argentina, he still gets mentioned in the “best of the world” debate. However, the 37-year-old has named one such Argentina player who he considers to be at the peak of his powers.

Messi has named Cristiano Romero as “the best in the world” after his match-winning performance against Ecuador on international duty. For the former Barcelona man, Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk and Manchester City's Ruben Dias are far from matching the abilities of his international compatriot. The Tottenham Hotspur defender has consistently impressed for his national team since his pivotal role in Argentina's 2022 World Cup victory.

Recently, the Argentina national team's captain showered praise on this underrated Spurs talent, commending his outstanding performance in the 1-0 win against Ecuador during a World Cup qualifier. Messi's admiration for his fellow countryman was evident after yet another solid display.

The Inter Miami ace said, “For me, [Cristian Romero] is the best defender in the world right now. Amazing performance tonight, man of the match.”

“Having him behind is the best thing that can happen to me because he always forces me to go forward as he always wants to be one-on-one against the opponent. I got used to going out without looking back, and that is a pleasure for a midfielder because, in the end, you look at what that you have in front, and allows you to get less tired.”