Dimitar Berbatov sums up the difference between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo


Cristiano Ronaldo won FIFA’s ’The Best’ award this week and is the overwhelming favourite to win the Ballon d’Or in December.

If he does seal world football’s most prestigious individual accolade for the fifth time, he will equal the record currently held by Barcelona’s Lionel Messi.

Following Ronaldo’s latest individual award, football fans were once again left debating - and arguing - over which of the two superstars is the better player.

There’s no right or wrong answer - it’s all down to personal opinion - and it’s a debate that will probably rumble on well after they’re both retired.

In truth, there’s so little to separate the two. Both are incredible, once-in-a-lifetime players and we’re incredibly fortunate that they co-exist in the same era.

Most footballers who have played alongside Messi will claim the Argentine is the best, and vice-versa for those who played alongside Ronaldo.

However, Dimitar Berbatov has bucked that trend by claiming that he prefers Messi out of the two players.


Berbatov: The difference between Messi and Ronaldo

Despite playing and training alongside Ronaldo at Old Trafford, Berbatov admits he prefers Barça’s legendary No. 10 - and he’s explained the difference between them in terms of entertainment value.

“Because he's the f---ing greatest,” Berbatov said in an interview with ESPN. “Ronaldo is brilliant, Messi more my kind of player. He sees the game so clearly. He can score, create, he's the complete player, the best ever probably. If you ask someone older than me they will say Pele, Maradona or Puskas or Di Stefano.

“But for my generation it's Messi or Ronaldo. They're pretty much even, but something with Messi makes me shout 'Messi! Messi!' when I watch Barcelona on television.”

FC Barcelona v Olympiakos Piraeus - UEFA Champions League

What Berbatov tells youngsters about Ronaldo

Even though Messi makes Berbatov shout with joy in his living room, the Bulgarian insists he's very much an admirer of Ronaldo’s.

But he always tells youngsters who want to emulate the Portuguese forward to copy his work ethic over anything else.

“Young players try and imitate the best players like Ronaldo,” Berbatov added. “They try to imitate the hair, the clothes, the cars, the tricks. I try to tell them how hard Cristiano Ronaldo trained in training and after training. He only wanted to be the best. Everything else came after.

Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League

“Players shouldn't try and imitate s---, they should concentrate on themselves and being professional. Ronaldo was fine in our dressing room. He could take a joke and Patrice Evra was doing jokes, but he was serious when he played. I was shy, quiet and used to watch all of this.”

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