The Real Madrid manager was speaking after the deadly duo once again stole the show in a pulsating El Clasico on Sunday night, each scoring a double as Barcelona were held to a 2-2 draw at the Nou Camp.
Messi’s phenomenal performance, which included a superb free kick for his second goal, prompted Barca boss Tito Vilanova to claim the diminutive striker was in a league of his own.
But rather surprisingly, Mourinho chose not to engage in a slanging match with the man he once poked in the eye and instead hailed the efforts of both the frontrunners for the Ballon d’Or.
“I think it should be forbidden to say who [is] the best player in the world because these two are from another planet,” Mourinho said. “I would like my player to win [the Ballon d’Or] because he is champion of the best league in the world, but I think they’re both fantastic players.”
Vilanova, though, disagreed adding Ronaldo would be “more recognised” if his career had not coincided with Messi’s.
“We do not know his limits,” Vilanova said of his Argentine ace. “You should see how he trains every day - that urge he has to keep getting better.
“I think we will never see another player like this. He is the best in the world by far.” The stalemate meant La Liga champions Real remain eight points behind their arch-rivals, who were joined at the top of the table by Atletico Madrid following a 2-1 win over Malaga. But Mourinho believes the standings were left in the shade by what was a truly magnificent display by two teams at the peak of their powers.
“I think that the world will be happy because often these matches are too tactical and finish goalless,” he added. “This match had everything that people like.
Those fans that are in different time zones across Europe will have been awake and enjoyed this Clasico a lot and perhaps are already asking for another one in the Cup or the Champions League, if we get through.
“I think it was a great match and I said so to Vilanova. The league is as it was before with the same points difference that there was before the match. I really enjoyed my team’s display.”
But Real defender Sergio Ramos had no doubt as to who came out on top, saying: “Our game and hard work was better than Barcelona. Anyone who saw the match would not have been surprised if we had won.
“We wanted to reduce the distance between us but that has not happened. We hope to do it in the coming matches.”