Lionel Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo. It’s the eternal debate.
Fans will argue until the end of time about who the better player was.
If you’re team Messi, you point to the six Ballon d’Or titles. Ronaldo fans will claim their guy is superior because he’s done it for different clubs in three of Europe’s top leagues.
Lots of former pros and big football names have weighed in on the debate and this weekend, Gary Lineker has aimed to finish it once and for all.
The England legend is a well-known Messi fan and has now suggested ‘there shouldn’t be a debate’ that the Argentine is the better of the two.
“People get very tribal in all sorts of ways in life, and Messi versus Ronaldo is one of them,” Lineker said, writing for BBC Sport.
“Often the choice seems to come down to whether you support Barcelona, Real Madrid, Juventus or whoever, which is fine – I understand that.
“I am a huge fan of Ronaldo too, but if you’re talking about the best player ever, there shouldn’t even be a debate that it is Messi. That’s just my opinion, but it’s not even close for me.”
So why isn’t it close? Well, Lineker points to Messi’s amazing career numbers that haven’t dipped and the fact he’s been so loyal to Barca.
“Messi has obviously played in some great teams during his time there but, whoever has been alongside him, his amazing numbers have carried on exactly the same,” he continued.
“He has proved the doubters wrong, time and time again.
“Even for the past couple of seasons, when the Barca team has not been anything like as strong as it was in the past, his contribution has not dipped. In fact, they have been a real mess without him.
“It’s rare for any player to stay with one club now, in the way Messi has with Barcelona, let alone someone who moved there from a different country like he did when he left Argentina for Spain, aged 13.
“But, if he had left for any reason, Messi would have been accused of being disloyal. He cannot win, basically.
“And why would he want to move anyway? He started with one of the greatest clubs in world football.
“Leave Barca and you only move sideways at best. You are never going to move up.”
So there we have it. Has Lineker finally ended the debate? Of course not, but you’ve got to admit, he makes some very solid points.
Would Messi be accused of being disloyal if he left Spain? Most probably. Would he be able to find a club bigger and better than Barca anyway? It’s highly unlikely.
But, every fan is entitled to their opinion and the Messi/Ronaldo debate will continue to rage on for many more years.
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