Former Netherlands international Wesley Sneijder believes he could have matched the levels of Messi and Ronaldo with more commitment.
Sneijder called time on his career in August after winning league titles with Real Madrid and Ajax, as well as a historic treble with Inter.
But the 35-year-old – who was also a World Cup runner-up in 2010 – believes he could have gotten even more from his playing days.
“I have to be honest and admit that I could have been mentioned in the same breath as Messi and Ronaldo,” he told FOX Sports NL. “If I had been 100 per cent committed!
“But I did not want to do that and I have no regrets about it. It’s not that I didn’t have it in me, but I simply didn’t want to do it.
“I enjoyed my footballing career as it was, both on and off the pitch. I won every trophy I could win at club level, so I have no regrets at all.
“People still approach me to tell me that they feel I should have won the Ballon d’Or in 2010,” the 35-year-old.
“But I keep telling them that winning the Champions League was nicer than an individual trophy.
“Of course, it would have been the icing on the cake, but it’s satisfying enough that people tell me I should have won it.”
Sneijder last played for Qatari side Al-Gharafa, where he scored 17 goals in 25 appearances.