Cristiano Ronaldo vs Lionel Messi: Sir Alex Ferguson summed up the debate in many Man Utd fans’ eyes

  • Rob Swan

Nobody would love to see Cristiano Ronaldo back in a Manchester United shirt more than Sir Alex Ferguson.

Ferguson, who signed Ronaldo from Sporting Lisbon in 2003, became a father figure to the Portuguese superstar.

And their special bond is still just as strong now, 11 years after Ronaldo left Old Trafford for Real Madrid.

Some of Ferguson’s greatest players left Man Utd after falling out with the legendary Scot.

David Beckham, Roy Keane, Jaap Stam, Ruud van Nistelrooy are just four United legends that fell out with Fergie and were unceremoniously offloaded as a result.

But Fergie always had a soft spot for Ronaldo, even after the world-class forward asked to leave United for Madrid in the summer of 2008.


Ferguson agreed to grant Cristiano his wish on one condition: he would have to stay for the 2008-09 season and help Man Utd attempt to retain the Champions League.

The Red Devils came agonisingly close to achieving that goal but suffered defeat to Lionel Messi’s Barcelona in the 2009 Champions League final in Rome.

That was Ronaldo’s final appearance in a United shirt.

Just over a decade later, however, and reports claim that United are interested in bringing 35-year-old Ronaldo back to Old Trafford.


Juventus are reportedly considering selling the five-time Ballon d’Or winner next summer and United are among the clubs linked with a sensational 2021 transfer.

In the eyes of many United fans – and yes, of course they might be biased – Ronaldo has the edge over Messi.

Ferguson also believes that Ronaldo is the better overall player.

Back in 2015, Fergie answered the Messi vs Ronaldo debate with an answer that many Man Utd fans entirely agreed with.

Watch the video here…

“People say who is the best player in the world? And plenty of people quite rightly say Messi – you can’t dispute that opinion,” Ferguson said to snooker legend John Parrott.

“But Ronaldo could play for Millwall, Queens Park Rangers, Doncaster Rovers… anyone, and score a hat-trick in a game.

“I’m not sure Messi could do it.

“Ronaldo’s got two feet, he’s quick, great in the air, he’s brave – Messi’s brave, of course.

“I think Messi’s a Barcelona player.”


Five years on and Ferguson’s comments still ring true today.

It would have been fascinating to see Messi competing in England – and perhaps we still will next season – but you just know that Ronaldo could score goals in just about every team on the planet.

Could Messi do the same? Possibly – but there’s a bigger question mark there.

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