"He's the best of all time, although I haven't had a chance to watch some other greats of the past," he was quoted as saying by marca.com on Thursday.

Silva lined him up in attack of his dream team alongside former great Ronaldo, saying the Brazilian is "the best striker I've ever seen."Silva also included three of his Spain team-mates in his team - goalkeeper Iker Casillas, defenders Sergio Ramos and Carles Puyol.

"Next to Ramos I'd play with Puyol for the same reasons, we've won many titles together and I think he's one of the best defenders in the world. He is a great player and a very brave defender."

Brazilians Cafu and Roberto Carlos, Frenchman Claude Makelele and Patrick Vieira, Portuguese Luis Figo and Danish Michael Laudrup complete his team.

Silva who plays for English Premier League Club Manchester City will play Messi's Barcelona in a Champions league encounter at home on February 24 and travel to the Camp Nou for the return tie on March 18 in what will be one of the most competitive last sixteen showdowns of this year's competition.

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