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."
|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|
|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|
|Hansen to leave: Highs and highs of his All Blacks reign|
|Hansen to leave All Blacks after World Cup|
|Rapid Vienna 1 Rangers 0: Late Ljubicic winner sends Gerrard´s men out|
|Beckham continues to miss Giants practice with quad injury|
|Vidi 2 Chelsea 2: Giroud spares Sarri´s side in lacklustre draw|
|Paris Saint-Germain and Marseille fixtures among latest Ligue 1 cancellations|
|Santos turn to ex-Argentina boss Sampaoli|
|Muller could miss Champions League last 16 after Tagliafico kick|
|Home hope Bekker out in front at Alfred Dunhill Championship|
|Van Bommel in touch with Robben over PSV reunion|
|Pinarello chief confident over Team Sky future|
|Stade make Ospreys tickets free in tribute to teenager|
|WRC great Loeb seals Hyundai switch|
|Madrid rumours better than sack talk, says Pochettino|
|Nadal to join Federer at 2019 Laver Cup|
|Prigoda smashes world record, Hosszu dethroned in Hangzhou|
|Former Juve CEO Marotta takes over at Inter|
|Glenn to stand down as FA boss next year|
|Muller apologises to Tagliafico for kick to the head|
|Pereira pleads for more Manchester United chances|
|Griffin hails ´phenomenal´ Lowry after Warriors demolition|
|I´ve played with Zidane and Henry, but Messi is something else – Pires|
|Dragons forward Jack de Belin charged with sexual assault|
|Durant: Raptors are the real deal|
|Cocu bids farewell to Fenerbahce after ´mutual agreement´ is made over October sacking|
|Australia unchanged for historic Perth Test|
|Champions League draw: The possible last-16 ties|
|Southee happy to be back on home soil|
|I wouldn´t swap Dembele for Neymar – Pires|
|Canelo ready to risk heavy weather against Fielding|
|Raptors upstage Warriors, Davis leads Pelicans with 44 points|
|India skipper Kohli excited by green Perth wicket|
|PSG? I haven´t decided my future yet – De Jong|
|Marcelo: Real Madrid don´t have attitude problem|
|India pair Ashwin, Rohit ruled out of second Test|
|Kovac: Ajax-Bayern draw was amazing|
|Sims re-signs with Dragons until 2022|
|Derrius Guice injury update: Redskins RB (knee) has rehab setback, undergoes 3 more procedures|
|Emery: Arsenal could sign defender in January|
|Phillies sign McCutchen to three-year deal|
|O´Neal thinks his Lakers teams could ´easily´ beat Warriors|
|A-League to add two clubs by 2020|