Former Arsenal star Paul Merson has branded Cristiano Ronaldo ‘embarrassing’, saying that in his eyes Lionel Messi is now the undisputed king of world football.
Since winning the Ballon d’Or in January the Portuguese forward has let his incredibly high standards slip, and it’s given his arch-nemesis the chance to regain ground in the race for the crown of who is deemed the best player on the planet.
Ronaldo on the way down?
Though he’s far from being considered ‘normal’, there’s been a definite change in Ronaldo’s form, and it appears the frustrations appear to be getting the better of him. During Real Madrid’s recent victory over Levante, the ex-Manchester United superstar appeared to hit out when Gareth Bale scored the opening goal of the game and didn’t look too overjoyed when his shot rebounded off the Welshman before adding to the tally.
In Merson’s opinion though that showing is just the tip of the iceberg, as the 30-year-old has been ‘embarrassing’ for sometime now.
“I used to see Messi and Ronaldo heads or tails sometimes,” Merson said on Sky Sports’ Gillette Soccer Saturday show.
“About a year ago I used to think there is not a lot between them. He is putting Ronaldo to shame now. He is a team player. You watch Ronaldo over the last three months - he has been embarrassing.”
Of course if you don’t live on planet Merson you’ll likely concur that that particular approximation is fairly ludicrous. Though he might not be scoring three goals a game he’s still a supremely gifted athlete, and if Real win any major silverware this term they’ll have a lot to thank him for.
In truth though Messi does appear to be having the lion’s share of the appraisals recently, courtesy of a series of impeccable performances. The Argentina international’s showing in the Champions League gave the world a taste of where he’s at right now, and there’s no doubting he’ll have his eyes on ensuring Ronaldo doesn’t win a third Ballon d’Or in a row.
Has Ronaldo been embarrassing? Or is Merson being ridiculously over the top? Let us know your thoughts in the comments box below...