Diego Simeone: Cristiano Ronaldo fits better than Messi for teams with 'fewer solutions'

Diego Simeone has faced both players regularly over the last eight years.

Few know what it's like to battle Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi better than Diego Simeone.

The Atletico Madrid boss has had to deal with the duo since taking over in 2011, competing with both for the top trophies.

Simeone beat both to La Liga in 2014 - his crowning achievement - but finished second to Barcelona last year after Messi smashed them to the title, and then repeated it this year.

There's a history in the Champions League, too, as Atletico knocked Barca out in both 2014 and 2016 before losing to Real Madrid in both finals.

Simeone probably thought he was done having to deal with Ronaldo after he left Real, only for them to meet once again.

Ronaldo put Atletico out of this year's edition of the Champions League, turning around a 2-0 deficit with a hattrick for Juventus in the second leg.

And having had to deal with both of them for eight years, Simeone has detailed what he believes is the difference between the two.

"What I consider is that in a team with fewer solutions, Ronaldo is a better fit because he provides many solutions," Simeone said, per Marca."For a team which focuses on football, Messi is much better.

Ronaldo scored a hattrick to beat Atletico this season.

"We are talking about very fine margins of how a team plays. Cristiano can decide a game in a different way, he doesn't need ten attacks. He scored two headers against us and we were out.

"Both need a team but the differences are very small. Lionel, in an attacking team always plays better.

"[Ronaldo] can win a game in two actions, he simplifies the situations.

"Messi is mesmerising because he plays elaborate football. Leo plays in a team that compliments all of his talent. He always ends up finding solutions."

Messi's goal against Atletico effectively won La Liga this season.

And so, as Simeone sees it, the difference is that Ronaldo doesn't really need anyone else to be a threat. Set up your team to attack and keep the ball and Messi is 'much better', able to find every solution you need him to.

But if you can't offer those solutions, Ronaldo will provide them on his own.

It's an interesting way of looking at it, and very difficult to argue with.

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