Jamie Carragher says Cristiano Ronaldo left Real Madrid in 2018 because of Lionel Messi

Olympique Lyon v Juventus - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: First Leg

The debate over who is better between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi will go on for some time.

There's no right or wrong answer. Both players have accomplished incredible things during their careers and both have a claim to being the best player of all-time.

Ronaldo was at the peak of his powers during his time at Real Madrid.

After joining in 2009, the Portuguese went on to score a ridiculous 450 goals in 438 games for the club.

During his nine-year spell, he also helped Los Blancos to two La Ligas and four Champions League titles.

But rumours circulated in the summer of 2018 that he was considering leaving the club.

And those reports turned out to be true when he made the shock move to Juventus.

But why exactly did he leave? Jamie Carragher has given his interesting theory in an interview with CaughtOffside.

The former Liverpool player thinks Ronaldo decided to leave in his desire to be considered a better player than Messi

“That’s why Ronaldo’s moved [from Real Madrid to Juventus]. I think he knows that he’s always been seen as just behind Messi, so I think Ronaldo’s quite clever,” he said.

Olympique Lyon v Juventus - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: First Leg

“I can say I’ve won the league in all these countries, been the top scorer in all these countries and these are more strings to my bow… I also think he probably does the opposite to what Messi does to try and paint himself as being slightly different."

Interesting stuff.

That is, of course, an argument used by many who think Ronaldo is better than Messi.

He's managed to be successful at four clubs in four different countries. Messi, on the other hand, has been at Barcelona his whole career and hasn't ventured outside of the Spanish league.

But Carragher thinks Messi is still the best of all-time and doesn't have to leave Barcelona to prove that.

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"It’s just stupid. It’s absolutely daft," he said. "He [Messi] is at the top club, he’s the best player there, he’s the best player in Europe.

“The best show up against the best on the biggest occasions and that’s what he does so I don’t really listen (to other’s opinions). Fair play to Ronaldo and well done, but it’s not something to criticise Messi for.

"I don’t think of Franco Baresi and Paolo Maldini being any less of a defender because they never left AC Milan. So that’s not going to change me with Lionel Messi not leaving Barcelona. I mean, why would you leave Barcelona?”

Regardless where you stand on the whole greatest of all-time debate, one thing is for sure. Both players are absolutely incredible and we've been lucky to watch them both play over the past two decades.

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