Diego Maradona.

Diego Maradona gives unusual answer to the Messi-Ronaldo debate

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Who is the better player: Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo?

It's a question that's plagued football ever since the Barcelona superstar dethroned his Real Madrid rival as No.1 in 2009, winning FIFA World Player of the Year.

Messi has since won the Ballon d'Or on four more occasions (five in total) to Ronaldo's two (three in total), with many using that as evidence of who the superior player really is.


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The simple truth of the matter is that there's no separating them. While different players entirely, the pair are equally as prolific in front of goal and possess abilities never before seen in world football.

That's the opinion of Diego Maradona anyway.

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In a recent interview with Marca, the Argentine legend was asked to pick between countryman Messi and Ronaldo, with expectation being that he would chose the former.

However, Maradona gave a rather unusual answer.

"Messi isn't better than Cristiano Ronaldo and vice versa," he said, intimating that the pair are on level terms.

Instead Maradona spoke about one of Messi's teammates at Barcelona: "I like watching Neymar because, despite getting kicked 200 times, he always continues to dribble at opponents."

FC Barcelona v Celtic FC - UEFA Champions League

Statistically speaking, there really is no way of picking between Messi and Ronaldo, although the former has the superior goal-to-game ratio.

Whereas the Barcelona star has scored 461 goals in 539 club appearances, Real Madrid's winger has 490 in 677.

Fellow legend Pele recently gave his own take on the Messi-Ronaldo debate and was far more clear-cut with his verdict.

He said in a recent Q&A session, per ESPN: "I could mention some names but what has happened in the last 10 to 15 years, I think Messi is the player who was the most consistent all those years, no doubt.

"We have had a lot of good players. Then Ronaldo came late but it is different because Messi is the more organised, he scores goals.

UD Las Palmas v Real Madrid CF - La Liga

"Cristiano Ronaldo is like the Ronaldo from Brazil, he is a good scorer no doubt, but to me as a player it is Messi."

And for the sake of fair game, Zinedine Zidane also chipped in earlier this year and hailed Ronaldo as the world's best player.

"Cristiano Ronaldo is the best," he told Record Mexico.

"People can say what they like about him, but in his heart he's a good person. Messi is the rival and that rivalry is great for the footballing spectacle, it's what the fans want to see."

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La Liga
Real Madrid
Cristiano Ronaldo
Lionel Messi
UEFA Champions League
Diego Maradona

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