Fabio Capello has praised Atletico Madrid's Radamel Falcao, saying only Lionel Messi has impressed him as much on first viewing.
The 66-year-old Italian, who is now in charge of the Russian national team, discussed his impressions of the South American duo in an interview with Gazzetta dello Sport.
“In my entire career, there has only been one player who has impressed me as much as Messi the first time I saw them, and that was Falcao,” said the two time Real Madrid boss.
“He is a great striker – surely now number one.”
Capello also commented on the rivalry between Los Blancos and Barcelona, and who he believes will win the Champions League.
“The starting line-ups for each team are equal. But if you look at the benches, Real win,” opined the former England manager.
“In my view, only Manchester City have as good a squad as Real. I find it ironic that Real City is the first game of the Champions League, and then possibly the final.”
Capello went on to discuss the success of Jose Mourinho, and the enduring legacy of ex-Blaugrana boss Pep Guardiola.
“I like Mourinho, because he is solid, pragmatic and knows how to adapt his players to a system. He's also an excellent man-manager.
“Guardiola though, despite starting young, did something even better. He invented a philosophy, and in football that's difficult. The ability to recover the ball high up the pitch, under pressure, with your attacking players did not exist before. At least not in the way he did it.”