The Lionel Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo debate will rage on for decades to come.
While the eventual retirements of the Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United stars might finalise their career statistics, that doesn’t mean thats fans will all reach a mutual agreement.
Ronaldo vs Messi debate
Plus, the two Ballon d’Or winners seem to represent two entirely different arms of appreciation for football with Ronaldo standing as a bastion of hard work and Messi enduring as a beacon of talent.
The truth is that Messi has put in tonnes of hard work in the same way that Ronaldo has talent on his side, too, but this balance nevertheless beats through the very heart of the debate.
As such, while thousands and thousands of footballers have given their opinion on the Messi vs Ronaldo debate, we feel pretty confident that few have matched Kevin-Prince Boateng’s response.
As random as that might sound, the former AC Milan midfielder’s answer to the debate in 2018 sticks in our mind as one of the finest distillations of what makes the two players so special.
Boateng’s legendary answer on the debate
“He is the best example to look at because he trains to the fullest and has talent. He works like a madman, he is passionate with everything he does and about football.
“He always wants to be the best. He always wants to be first in everything, so, for a player who is just starting, the one to look at should be him because he is perfect.
“Ronaldo makes all of this happen in this world, but only in this world. In what transcends this world, the best is Messi, because he is incredible, he does things that nobody can do.
“I do not see him in this world. Ronaldo dominates this world and Messi is above everything else.”
The greatest answer of all time?
Ok, so there’s still an element of debate to be had there, but there’s no denying that Boateng’s articulation of the Ronaldo vs Messi dynamic is one of the most eloquent to come from a top pro.
Whether you agree with him or not, there’s undoubtedly a romanticism that comes with solving the debate by saying that Messi is the greatest player of all time and Ronaldo is the greatest example.
It’s that classic idea of: Ronaldo is the best player in the world, but Messi isn’t from this world.
“Rangnick is struggling at Man Utd” (Football Terrace)
Boateng teams up with Messi
Plus, it’s worth remembering that Boateng made the comments before he made his move to Barcelona, which unsurprisingly did nothing but reassert his love for the Argentine wizard.
Per Goal, Boateng told DAZN in 2020: “Training with Messi left me speechless. I had always said that Cristiano Ronaldo was the best in the world, but Messi is something else. He’s not normal.
“While training with him, I felt inadequate for the first time in my career. He was doing incredible things. I felt like saying, ‘I’m done, I’m going to quit playing!'”
So, who knows, perhaps Boateng would ramp up the love for Messi if he was asked about the debate all over again, but we’re inclined to think that it was his original reply that reigns supreme.