Paul Scholes says Lionel Messi is better than Cristiano Ronaldo

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Manchester United legend Paul Scholes rates Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi as a better player than Real Madrid idol Cristiano Ronaldo.

Writing in his latest Independent column, Scholes believes the irrepressible Messi is the greatest footballer he ever played with or against.

"I think about the great players with whom I have shared a pitch: Eric Cantona, Zinedine Zidane, Pirlo, Xavi, Cristiano Ronaldo – and the greatest of them all is Messi,” the retired England international commented.

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Scholes only came up against Messi on a couple of occasions, towards the end of his playing career. But the fact he spent six years playing alongside Ronaldo at Old Trafford suggests the four-time Ballon d’Or winner must have made a huge impression on him.

Messi famously left Scholes for dead - metaphorically speaking - in a Champions League clash at Old Trafford in 2008, expertly shifting the ball from left to right in an instant before ghosting past his bewildered opponent.

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But it was Scholes who had the last laugh in that match: his memorable 25-yard screamer sent Manchester United through to the Champions League final at Barcelona’s expense.

Messi can win another CL winners' medal

Messi had already won the Champions League on one occasion by that point - although he did not feature in the 2006 final against Arsenal in Paris - and has the opportunity to win his fourth winners’ medal in Berlin this weekend.

Should Barcelona defeat Juventus on Saturday evening, Messi will end the 2014-15 campaign with three major titles to his name: the Champions League, La Liga, and the Copa del Rey, which Luis Enrique’s side won last weekend, beating Athletic Bilbao in the final.

Scholes explains Messi's dream goal

Messi’s fabulous solo effort was arguably one of the best cup final goals of all time - and Scholes explained why the South American magician was able to score such an incredible goal.

“What makes a player like Messi attempt the incredible kind of run and shot that he scored with against Athletic Bilbao in the Spanish cup final? Well, first you need to know you can do it. Secondly, it is the confidence and belief of an in-form player,” Scholes added.

“I have seen that kind of belief in team-mates and opponents over the years and it is a powerful force. Bad players can be confident too. When the truly great players are in that mood, they can be unstoppable.”

If Messi continues from where he left off, Juventus could be in big trouble this weekend.

And if Barcelona do complete the treble on Saturday evening, Messi’s odds on securing a record-breaking fifth Ballon d’Or award in January will shorten dramatically.

Who will be remembered, in years to come, as the better footballer: Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo? Tell us by leaving a comment in the box below!

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La Liga
Paul Scholes
Lionel Messi
Premier League
Cristiano Ronaldo
Real Madrid
Manchester United

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