Former Barcelona striker and Match of the Day host Gary Lineker is a long-time admirer of Blaugrana captain Lionel Messi and has now explained why he thinks that Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo is no match for the Argentine ace.
In case you didn’t know…
The entire world appears to have made their pick in the eternal Messi-Ronaldo debate, with some maintaining that both stars deserve the ‘greatest of all time’ tag. Lineker has given his verdict on the debate a long time ago, having been incredibly vocal about his love for Messi.
Does anyone really genuinely think there has ever been a better footballer than Lionel Messi? I mean seriously?
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) October 3, 2018
The Argentine boasts of being a five-time Ballon d’Or winner, same as Ronaldo, and has won four Champions League trophies and a whopping nine La Ligas in his career so far.
Besides his record Ballon d’Ors, Ronaldo has five Champions League trophies, three Premier Leagues and two La Liga titles under his belt.
The heart of the matter
Despite all of Ronaldo’s achievements, however, Lineker is firm in his opinion that the Portuguese is no match for the Barcelona captain.
Speaking exclusively to talkSPORT, the BT Sport presenter said, “He’s just phenomenal. He’s 31 now and he’s still going strong. He plays the game in a way the rest of us are not familiar with. I watch a lot of football, and people pine on this whole Messi vs Ronaldo debate; there’s no comparison for me.”
Messi is often placed below Ronaldo owing to his inexperience in the Premier League but Lineker believes people underestimate the Spanish top flight.
“They watch a bit of English football and they think La Liga is a walk in the park. But they actually win most competitions going, domestically and in Europe.”
He added, “Messi is on a different level to everybody else, it’s as simple as that. People say to me what about Ronaldo’s goalscoring record and so forth. But I say to them have you seen Messi pass a football? Have you seen him dribble towards goal?
“The all-round joy he brings to football is what I love about him. Even on his off-days he’ll do three or four things that take your breath away.”
While Barcelona were held to a draw against Lyon in their first leg of the Champions League Round of 16, Juventus are scheduled to play their opening leg against Atletico Madrid later tonight.