Manchester United legend Eric Cantona recently weighed in on the debate of who he believes to be the best player in the world – with neither Cristiano Ronaldo nor Lionel Messi making the grade.
Whilst the often controversial Frenchman did plump for an Argentine playmaker, he revealed a rather surprising choice in the form of Paris Saint-Germain’s Javier Pastore.
For me, the best player in the world is Javier Pastore. I watched two PSG games just to see him play. For me, he is the most creative player at the moment.
Pastore has split opinion during his time in the French capital due to inconsistent performances since joining from Palermo in 2011 for a fee of around £30m, with recent rumours abound that PSG may look to recoup some of their massive outlay this summer.
Despite this, Pastore has clearly won over Cantona – never one to follow conventional views – who ignored current Ballon d’Or holder Cristiano Ronaldo and four-time winner Lionel Messi.
Pastore is full of surprises. I love this kind of player.
Cantona was speaking ahead of the Laureus Sports Awards, days before Messi’s Barcelona overcame Pastore’s PSG 3-1 in the Champions League quarter-final first leg in Paris.
In 1993 Cantona finished third behind Roberto Baggio and Dennis Bergkamp for the 1993 Ballon d’Or award.
Meanwhile another former flamboyant French star, David Ginola – formerly of PSG – offered his view in light of Cantona’s comments, telling talkSPORT:
Pastore is not on the same level as Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo. He’s not scoring enough goals or making enough assists.
On the other hand, having a Javier Pastore in any team will add an extra ‘je ne sais quoi’, something special. Every time he gets the ball he is trying to create something. He has been amazing for Paris Saint-Germain.
When he arrived at Paris a few years ago he was amazing in the first few games. After a while he just dropped off a little bit.
We thought he was overrated but for the last year he’s completely changed his way of playing. He’s more accurate and consistent, everything he does is the right choice.