Diego Maradona has joked that Cristiano Ronaldo should "stop taking the piss" with his comments about being the best player in history.
In an interview with AS' Marco Ruiz, the Argentina legend said he would put a "little wager" on Gremio, Real Madrid's opponents in the final of the Club World Cup, "despite that son of a bitch Ronaldo."
In response to Ronaldo's belief in himself as the best footballer of all time, a smiling Maradona said: "Tell him to stop taking the piss."
Ronaldo's comments came after he pulled level with Lionel Messi on five Ballons d'Or:
B/R Football @brfootball
Stay humble https://t.co/lAbCeeQTJx2017-12-8 10:23:49
The pair have shared football's most prestigious individual award since 2008, and Maradona is tired of seeing them do so: "As a trophy, it's very difficult to give just one Ballon d'Or to a player. Because giving one to Cristiano and to Messi, it's boring now."
Prior to 1995, when Maradona was in the twilight of his career, only European players could win the award. The Argentina World Cup winner believes he'd have cleaned house had he been eligible, though: "I would have more than Cristiano and Messi."
Nevertheless, he believes the Real star could be included in the conversation for the best of all time: "From the little that I saw, Alfredo Di Stefano, [Johan] Cruyff and Messi. Cristiano could be up there too."
He added Ronaldo is a "marvellous" player and revealed the qualities he admires in the forward: "The definition. Another of the things that I recognise in Cristiano Ronaldo is that when the team needs him, he's there. He has that. And eh, listen, after 'El Flaco' Cruyff, there weren't many players who have had that quality."
Maradona also gave his take on Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe:
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Diego Maradona told Real Madrid president Florentino Perez to sign Kylian Mbappe this summer https://t.co/E5GPqaZxBC2017-12-15 09:42:58
According to the 57-year-old, Madrid chief Florentino Perez responded to his instruction by saying: "You know I have Cristiano."
Mbappe, 18, enjoyed a breakout campaign with Monaco last year as he plundered 26 goals and 14 assists in all competitions, and he has continued that form with 10 goals and seven assists for PSG this season.
Maradona is not a fan of Madrid's Gareth Bale, however, urging the club to "sell Bale, give Bale away." He added: "He'll surely be a makeweight for something, and Florentino will be left with half of Madrid or half of Italy, and Bale will play for AC Milan or Inter. But I think they have to buy Mbappe."
The 28-year-old has become increasingly injury-prone in recent years and has sat out 14 games this season as a result.
With Ronaldo set to turn 33 in February, bringing in some fresh young talent like Mbappe would be highly beneficial to Real, who need to start looking to the future.