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Ronaldo and Messi.

Gary Lineker has answered the Leo Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo argument

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Expect plenty of outrage if Cristiano Ronaldo is awarded the Ballon d’Or this Thursday.

The Real Madrid superstar is the heavy favourite to claim the prize - he is 1/8 with Sky Bet - following a tremendous first half of 2017 that saw him fire Los Blancos to a La Liga and Champions League double.

Ronaldo was tremendous, scoring 10 goals from the quarter-finals onwards as Real secured their 12th European Cup.

But the 32-year-old’s form in the 2017-18 campaign, coupled with Lionel Messi’s continued brilliance, has left many wondering just how he can be named the best player of the year.

Ronaldo started the season with a ban and has netted just twice in 10 league appearances.

Meanwhile, Messi, who was the top scorer in Spain’s top flight last season, has bagged 13 goals in 14 matches.

Yet a successful evening for Ronaldo on Thursday will see him tie the Barcelona maestro on five Ballon d’Or awards - and will make settling the Messi versus Ronaldo argument even harder.

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Former Barcelona striker Gary Lineker has provided a brilliant explanation as to why he believes Messi is the superior player.

According to Lineker, most players he speaks to tell him the exact same.

"I think yes, he’s still the best. When I speak to most footballers, they say the same," Lineker told Goal.

"We are blessed to live in a time with both Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi. They are different kinds of players, of course. Ronaldo is wonderful, prolific and I love watching him play. Messi, to me, brings joy.

Barcelona v Celta de Vigo - La Liga

"I watch a game and it is still the same now. I watched him against Valencia last night, it wasn’t even his best game and he gave it away a few times which is unusual. He still produced a couple of moments and the pass for the goal - that’s something that only the greatest midfielders that I have seen can do.

"Maybe someone like Zinedine Zidane, Glenn Hoddle or Andrea Pirlo could do. He’s got that to his game. He’s as good a passer as you will ever see.

"He’s certainly the best dribbler that I have ever seen. Even better than Diego Maradona. There are things that make him unique.

"Ronaldo scores goals and can beat people but not in the same way that Messi can do. He scores as many as Ronaldo. If the Ballon d’Or was just given to the best player, which it supposedly is, then it would be Messi every single year because he is the best footballer.

Athletic Club v Real Madrid - La Liga

"However, they take into account the best team, trophies. Barcelona have been successful, but Messi only wins when they dominate Madrid. Ronaldo wins when Madrid do visa versa.

"It is a bit strange, but that’s how it goes. Ronaldo has brought the best out of himself, a huge professional and I am a huge admirer of his, but Messi is magical.

"Cristiano is going through a bit of a goal drought, he’s around 32-years-old now and the legs go. It doesn’t matter how good you are, what your record is, the legs go. We are mortals, although Messi might not be. But we are mortals and something does happen.

"I hope it isn’t time for Ronaldo and I believe he will still score a load of goals as he is a great finisher, a big game player with balls of steel. It will be sad when they both go because we will miss them.”

Indeed it will.

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Topics:
Barcelona
Real Madrid
Gary Lineker
La Liga
Football
Lionel Messi
Cristiano Ronaldo

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