This debate will never end. Who is better? For most, you already have your own point of view and it will be difficult for statistics to change that. Both these players are absolute legends of the game, there is no denying it but to compare them like-for-like would be a disservice. Ronaldo himself mentioned back in 2012 that the 2 should not be compared and that doing so would be like comparing a Ferrari to a Porsche (not sure who is who in that analogy but you get the point).
We are extremely fortunate to watch these kinds of players within our time. The downside is that the fanboys will never stop being proponents of their idols. So instead of making a case ourselves, we take a look at quotes from 9 players who have had the privilege of playing with both Messi and Ronaldo to try and get a clearer picture.
“For me he (Ronaldo) is not number one. For me, the best in the world is Messi because of the way he plays, moves with the ball and changes matches. Messi has incredible ability and I love the way that he plays.”
Angel Di Maria
“Messi is always the best, he’s the best every year. Cristiano Ronaldo’s a special player, but Messi’s from another planet. There are no words to describe Messi, he always surprises you.”
“There is no doubt that Messi is the best player in the world, he does incredible things and keeps on breaking records. I think Cristiano is nearly as good as Messi. They are both phenomenal footballers, but in different ways. They are far and away the best footballers in the world.”
Deco had this to say previously, “They are completely different. Though Messi takes care of himself like a normal athlete, Ronaldo is unbelievable. It borders on sickness because he always wants to be the best at his job. He competes in everything”
“Cristiano is unlucky to be playing at the same time as Messi. Ronaldo is a very good player, but Messi is even better. He is from out of this world. He’s so good that it’s almost incredible. When you see him with the ball at his feet it’s hard to believe that anybody else could do the same. He’s a fantastic player to see.”
“Cristiano Ronaldo has drive and enviable self-discipline. He’s an obsessive. As long as he has not reached the goal he has put in his head, he does not stop trying. Leo is inexplicable. Footballistically, he does not come from this planet. And as a person, he leads such a quiet life that is admirable.”
“For me it’s like Messi is not human but Cristiano is the best of the humans.”
“When people ask me who is the best player ever, I say Leo. From the first time I saw him with Argentina U-15 to this day he continues to amaze me. He has no limit.”
“Cristiano always stopped in the gym after training: for him it is an obsession and, being the best in everything, he always arrived at work early. When the training was set for nine in the morning I arrived at eight and he was already there. Even if I arrived at 7.30 he was already there. I began to ask myself, ‘How can I get rid of this guy?’ So one day I arrived at six but he was already there! Sleepy, but he was there.” Tevez on Ronaldo in 2018
On Messi, “Messi plays another sport. For Messi to score three goals (in a game) is normal.”
“Of course I enjoy it. Cristiano’s a champion and it’s always a pleasure to play with guys like him. Ronaldo makes things that are very difficult actually seem easy”, Dybala in 2019.
On his Argentina team-mate, “Leo is like Maradona for those of our generation. For me it’s an honour to play with him in the national team. He dragged us to the World Cup with the hat-trick in Ecuador. He is a born leader.”
There seems to be a trend in the above statements. What is your view on this? Do share with us your thoughts.