Ronaldo is the favourite for this year's Ballon d'Or .

Xavi says only Real Madrid fans think Cristiano Ronaldo is better than Lionel Messi

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Cristiano Ronaldo vs. Lionel Messi is a debate that will no doubt go on for years to come.

The two players have defined the current generation of footballers, and it's a rivalry that runs deep with the pair constantly battling it out in La Liga.

Messi seems to have fallen out of favour with the neutrals in recent months due to a combination of his court case and his retirement - and then un-retirement - from Argentina. Contrast that with Ronaldo's success in both the Champions League and Euro 2016, and there's only been one real winner this calendar year.


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Unsurprisingly, however, one of Messi's former team-mates has leapt to his defence and has a pretty interesting theory about CR7's many admirers.

"He's superior to everyone" 

Xavi, who played for Barcelona for 17 years, believes that there can only be one explanation for why anyone would think Ronaldo is better than his old rival - they must be Real Madrid fans.

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"Ronaldo is a player of his time, the problem is that there is another who has been pretty much the best player in history," Xavi told Cadena SER, as per the Daily Mail.

"Ronaldo is extraordinary, but compared to Messi, for me and for everyone who likes football, there can be no comparisons.

"Messi will be number one until he wants. He's superior to everyone and is the best in the world, unless you are Real Madrid."

Impossible to choose 

Real fans are probably a little biased, it's true, but they're still making a fair point. It's not as if they're comparing Messi to Emmanuel Adebayor, Ronaldo is a genuine rival at the top.


In reality, it's almost impossible to choose between the two superstars, although it's the Portuguese who is widely expected to walk away with this year's Ballon d'Or.

That comes as no real surprise, as Messi and Ronaldo have dominated the award for the last eight years.

Barca fans may be forced to look on begrudgingly as Messi takes a backseat for now, but they can rest safe in the knowledge that they've - at the very least - got the joint-best player on the planet in their ranks.

Who's the best - Messi or Ronaldo? Are they as good as each other? Have your say in the comments.

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La Liga
UEFA Champions League
Real Madrid
Cristiano Ronaldo
Lionel Messi

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