Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand is the latest player to have his say on the great Cristiano Ronaldo-Lionel Messi debate.

The England international centre back has sided with his former teammate over the four-time FIFA Ballon d’Or winner, suggesting the Portuguese winger has the edge after helping Real Madrid to the La Liga title last season.

Ronaldo spent six years at Old Trafford between 2003 and 2009, and will face-off against Ferdinand in the Champions League next month after the two teams were drawn against each other in the last 16 of the competition.

“I’d give it to Ronaldo. He and Messi are obviously the stand-out players, they’ve got the best stats and are better than anyone – nobody comes close. But, I think Ronaldo’s team won the league last year, and that would probably just sway it for me,” he told #AskRio on YouTube for #5 magazine.

In a wide-ranging interview on a number of topics, Ferdinand also revealed that if he wasn’t a professional footballer, he’d probably be working in the community with kids – or a Hollywood A-list actor.

“I would probably be working in the community with my mates, working on youth projects or something like that. Or, I would be an A-list Hollywood actor,” he added with a smile.

Ferdinand was also asked to give his views on ‘the secret’ to the success of the Red Devils.

Sir Alex Ferguson’s side have won 12 Premier League titles in the last two decades, and continuously strike late to break the hearts of opposing teams. For Ferdinand, it’s the desire to win which sets Manchester United apart.

“I think it’s the desire and the hunger that the manager’s got throughout the whole team and the whole club. I think if you’ve not got that desire or that passion to want to win football matches – that never say die attitude – then you won’t be successful,” he concluded.

“That’s what’s engrained in Manchester United.”

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