Giorgio Chiellini says Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are like Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal

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Lionel Messi is expected to move ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo by winning a sixth Ballon d’Or award later this year.

It’s early in the year, yes, but the Argentinian has been far and away the best player in the world and could end the season by winning the treble with Barcelona.

The winner of the Ballon d’Or has come from the team that has won the Champions League in each of the past five years, and Messi is in a great position to win the European competition.

His brace against Liverpool on Wednesday leaves Barcelona within reach of the final, where they will be favourites to beat either Ajax or Tottenham.

Ronaldo can’t be enjoying all the adulation that is going Messi’s way.

Usually at this point of the year we’re talking about the Portuguese star but 2019 has been different. There will be no European glory for the 34-year-old after Juventus’ exit at the hands of Ajax.

He’s still had a good year though, winning the Serie A title in his first season in Italy.

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'We can compare them to Federer and Nadal'

And one man who’s got to witness Ronaldo up close this year is Juventus teammate Giorgio Chiellini, who believes we are blessed to be able to watch CR7 and Messi at the same time.

Chiellini even compared the two to tennis greats Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

“We are lucky to live in the same age as these two star players," the defender told Sky Sport Italia, per Goal.

"We can compare them to Federer and Nadal.

“One day Cristiano is maybe the strongest in the world and another day Messi, but the truth is that they are two extra-terrestrials who play another sport to us."

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It has been a joy to watch Messi and Ronaldo over the years.

They have taken the game to another level, pushing themselves to reach new heights every season.

Both are in their thirties now, so their powers will soon wane.

But for now, we might as well enjoy them.

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