Alan Shearer names the best player he ever faced

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The majority of football fans are obsessed at determining who the best player in the world is.

Over the last decade, we have been fortunate enough to witness Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi stand head and shoulders above everyone else in the game.

Picking the best from those two, however, often divides opinion and it is inexplicably difficult to choose between them as they continue to rip teams apart every week.

But there is also a case to argue that you don't need to pick one above the other and in fact, we should actually just enjoy watching Ronaldo and Messi strut their stuff while they're still around.

Pundits often get asked for their Ballon d'Or verdict too and Alan Shearer is one of those who refuses to be drawn on the subject.

"Wherever I go I keep getting asked the question: who is the better player, Messi or Ronaldo?" Shearer wrote in his latest column for Coral.

"For me, we just have to enjoy them both for what they are, and that is two unbelievable players.

"The two of them have different personalities and styles on and off the pitch, but where they are similar is that they are both up there with the all time greats that have ever played the game.

"When I say that, I am talking about the likes of Pele, Maradona and Zidane."

Which brings us very nicely to the big players Shearer particularly admired during his generation.

The regular Match of the Day guest, who is the Premier League's all-time record scorer with 260 goals, explained his soft spot for Kenny Dalglish but revealed current Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane was actually the best player he came up against.

He added: "When I was first making my way into the game, Kenny Dalglish was in his prime. I saw him play at Liverpool and he was an absolute genius.

"I am really pleased Liverpool have named a stand after him this week. What he has done for that football club is incredible. I tweeted: ‘great person, great player, great man and great friend’ because he is all of those things.

"The best player I ever came up against was Zidane. I know he played in a different position to Ronaldo and Messi, but he could do anything with a football."

Any of our younger readers who might have missed Zidane in his prime should definitely search YouTube for some of his best bits - maybe skip any that include headbutt in the title, though...

His incredible touch and vision on the ball really set him apart from the rest and it is little wonder the 108-time French international won virtually everything there was to win and made such an impression on Shearer.

Having retired from playing in 2006, Zidane is now enjoying similar success as a manager for Real Madrid.

Los Blancos won the Champions League during his first season in charge and look well on course to repeat the feat again this year after beating Atletico Madrid 3-0 in the first leg of their semi-final earlier this week.

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Zinedine Zidane
Blackburn Rovers
Alan Shearer

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