The Cristiano Ronaldo vs Lionel Messi debate is something that splits football fans throughout the world – and now Robbie Savage has had his say.
Both players have enjoyed stellar careers at the top level for their clubs, winning numerous Champions League titles between them, but it is on the international stage where the duo’s talents are often magnified.
So far, during the World Cup in Russia, Portugal captain Ronaldo has enjoyed a fine start to the tournament, as the Real Madrid man dragged his nation to a point with a stunning hat-trick in a pulsating 3-3 draw with Iberian neighbours Spain in Sochi on Friday.
Meanwhile, his great rival Lionel Messi saw his penalty saved as his Argentina side were held by a resilient Iceland a day later in Moscow.
Speaking recently, former Wales international Savage explained why he feels Ronaldo has the upper hand in the great debate of the two superstars.
Savage, speaking at the launch of the William Hill Arms Pub, said: “He (Ronaldo) still got 40 goals in La Liga, and people said he lost his pace, there was one shot of him against Spain where he ran the length of the pitch and he still had his pace and he then just laid it inside with the outside of his right foot.
“People say Messi or Ronaldo, but that game convinced me once and for all that Ronaldo-Messi debate is a 50/50 split, and I’m siding with Ronaldo.”
Argentina are aiming for a first World Cup triumph since Diego Maradona inspired them to glory in Mexico in 1986, but Savage, who featured for the likes of Leicester City, Birmingham City, Blackburn Rovers and Derby County in his playing career, believes that the South Americans’ over reliance on the 30-year-old Barcelona forward could prove to be their downfall at the summer showpiece.
He continued: “I watched Messi in that first game, obviously he had to follow Ronaldo with that hat-trick, when Ronaldo produces, Messi then does, you see them head to head in La Liga, they both inspire each other.
“Messi didn’t quite live up to Ronaldo in that first game, he missed that penalty obviously, can Argentina go all the way? I’m not so sure they can, I am not sure if they are so strong defensively, okay when you’re brining on the likes of Higuain, you are strong, I’m just not sure defensively Argentina are strong enough, I don’t think we’ll see Messi lifting the trophy.
“I think this is his (Messi’s) best opportunity to lift the trophy, but I don’t think he will.”
Robbie Savage was speaking at the William Hill Arms, the pub which will offer fans the ultimate England watching experience including expert analysis, plus free food and drink.
For your chance to win exclusive access to England’s remaining group games, with Sam Allardyce making a guest appearance, head to William Hill's Twitter or Facebook pages. William Hill has over 200 markets available on every World Cup match #ThisIsMore #itscominghome
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