Barcelona head coach Ernesto Valverde refused to wade into the debate over Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi alongside his Real Madrid counterpart Zinedine Zidane.
Ronaldo is expected to retain his title as the FIFA Best Men's Player at a ceremony in London on Monday, despite Barca superstar Lionel Messi turning in another stellar year himself.
Debate over which of the current generation's standout players is superior is set to endure for some time yet, although Zidane sought to state a decisive case in favour of his own player after Sunday's 3-0 win over Eibar in LaLiga.
"Ronaldo is the best of his generation by far," he said. "He's already showed that several times because he's always shown up in important games. He always makes the difference.
"The award he's going to win is most deserved; all the trophies he's winning are well deserved."
Champions of Messi's cause will point to their man scoring 11 times in the opening nine matches in LaLiga this term to fire Barcelona to the top of the table, while Ronaldo - who helped Madrid to become Spanish and European champions last term - has managed a solitary strike in five top-flight outings.
Nevertheless, speaking ahead of Tuesday's Copa del Rey trip to Real Murcia, Valverde was unwilling to stir the pot any further.
"It's just an opinion like everyone else's," he said of Zidane's proclamation.
"It's fine for me. What am I going to say?"
Asked whether Ronaldo deserved his anticipated award, Valverde succinctly replied: "I don't know."
Messi, also in London for the FIFA gala, is one of a host of Barcelona first-team players set to sit out against third-tier Murcia.
Valverde confirmed striker Luis Suarez would rest up, with a combination of youth players and fringe first-team members to be deployed.
Of the latter group, however, full-back Aleix Vidal and attacking midfielder Arda Turan are sidelined due to injury.
"The two are discounted for tomorrow," Valverde explained. “Arda, he got the medical all clear the other day and then he had a relapse with the same problem [foot].
"With Aleix, he had a problem with his ankle – the one he had an operation on last season. He's had a few problems with that."
On Vidal, he added: "Do we have to be worried? I'm not a doctor, you'll have to clear this up with the medical services.
"He's recovered fantastically well but he has a small problem. I think it will be able to be resolved."
14. Dezember 2018
|Salah headlines CAF Player of the Year shortlist as Koulibaly misses out|
|Beckham Jr. out of Titans clash|
|Lipsky hits the front at Leopard Creek|
|Pederson coy over Wentz back injury|
|Liverpool ´not really likely´ to be active in January window, reveals Klopp|
|Always on the move and unpredictable - Pavard reveals surprising choice over toughest opponent|
|We need to get back to respect - Lampard alarmed by hate in football|
|Giles returns to England to replace Strauss as director|
|Hansen has no issue with Milner-Skudder Toulon switch|
|Juventus to rest Ronaldo after Torino showdown|
|Titmus strikes gold again as world records tumble in Hangzhou|
|Malinga to captain Sri Lanka in New Zealand|
|Rivaldo would like ´excellent´ Isco at Barcelona|
|United a long way from Mourinho´s vision|
|´Klopp denies an answer!´ - Liverpool boss dismisses questions about ´world-class´ Pogba|
|Returning Nowitzki ´so tired´ after making NBA history|
|Aguero and De Bruyne in contention for Manchester City v Everton|
|Simeone has no plans to cash in on Costa|
|Canelo v Fielding: Alvarez´s greatest nights|
|Fabregas: Chelsea being unfairly scapegoated over racism allegations|
|Crisis? What crisis? Klopp focuses on defensive solutions for United clash|
|Hope cannot inspire Windies as Bangladesh cruise to series win|
|Benitez picks up Premier League Manager of the Month award|
|Chavez, Marquez and Canelo - Mexico´s greatest multi-weight world champions|
|Bale set to miss Real Madrid v Rayo Vallecano|
|Robben out until January as Bayern look to avoid serious injury|
|Milan avoid UEFA ban in FFP punishments.|
|Mourinho compares Liverpool to ´an amazing house´ but insists trophies matter|
|Brisbane Roar 2 Melbourne Victory 4: Muscat´s men hit A-League summit|
|Bumrah confident second Test is ´in the balance´ after India recovery|
|Isco gesture was for a corner or foul, claims Solari|
|Harris leads Australia into ascendancy on day one|
|ATP announces candidates to host future Finals|
|Ronaldo: Juventus fans refuse to lose to Torino|
|Hero Rivers feared he had cost Chargers in KC|
|Williams would welcome Llorente back to Athletic Bilbao|
|Liverpool v Manchester United: Minding the gap|
|Milan elimination unjust, fumes Leonardo|
|Paul hails ´sick´ Harden after record-breaking display|
|Liverpool v Manchester United: Salah, Mane and Firmino v Rashford, Martial and Lukaku in Opta number|
|Canelo open to GGG trilogy as he chases place in Mexican history|
|The big Friday Premier League quiz|
|Harden posts record fourth 50-point triple-double in win over Lakers|
|Barcelona squad happy with Dembele, says Alba|
|Chargers rally past Chiefs to clinch playoff spot|
|WATCH: Chargers top Chiefs on dramatic two-point conversion in final seconds|
|Suns owner Sarver committed to keeping team in Phoenix|
|Chargers WR Allen leaves with injury after near-spectacular catch|
|Socceroos not giving up on Mooy for Asian Cup|
|Cooper says Raiders owner wanted to trade him to Cowboys|
|Pochettino jokes Levy is ´worried´ about losing him|
|Barcelona would welcome Morata – Alba|
|Toure not a priority for West Ham – Pellegrini|
|Koscielny no certainty to face Southampton, says Emery|
|We gifted the game – AC Milan boss Gattuso furious after Europa League exit|
|My season starts now, says Koscielny|
|Cipriani ´at peace´ with latest England snub|
|Laporte: Deschamps must have personal reasons for France snub|
13. Dezember 2018
|Morata injury not too serious, claims Chelsea boss Sarri|
|Hansen to leave: All Blacks coach returning focus to World Cup defence|
|I want to fight the champion! - Joshua reiterates Wilder in April ambition|
|Gundogan glad to leave Christmas holidays behind|
|I know how it feels and it hurts - Gundogan on Sterling abuse|
|Celtic 1 Red Bull Salzburg 2: Scottish champions through despite defeat|
|Olympiacos 3 AC Milan 1: Rossoneri crash out of Europa League|
|Arsenal 1 Qarabag 0: Lacazette on target as Saka shines|
|Hansen to leave: All Blacks will take time to name replacement|
|Chelsea condemn alleged anti-Semitic chanting from fans|
|Hansen to leave: The best Opta facts from New Zealand coach´s tenure|
|Hansen to leave: Five contenders to be the next All Blacks coach|