Zinedine Zidane says Cristiano Ronaldo is better than Leo Messi

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Zinedine Zidane may well have his own opinions, but while he is Real Madrid manager, he must maintain that Cristiano Ronaldo is the best player in the world.

Of course, the implications of him not holding such a view are numerous and troubling. Not only would it annoy Real Madrid's best player, but it would also be a clear admission that he thinks Leo Messi, star of Real Madrid's arch-rival Barcelona, is ahead of him.

Together, Messi and Ronaldo have held a duopoly on the endless debate of the world's best footballer. In 2013 and 2014, the world voted for the Portuguese, who took home his second and third Ballon d'Or titles as a result. Recently, Messi reclaimed the Golden Ball and it is widely accepted that he has moved clear of his rival.

Zidane, however, is holding strong on his view that Ronaldo is still the best in the world and delivered an unequivocal response when asked the ultimate question.

"Cristiano Ronaldo is the best," Zidane told Record Mexico. "People can say what they like about Cristiano Ronaldo, but in his heart he's a good person. Messi is the rival and that rivalry is great for the footballing spectacle, it's what the fans want to see."

Hit the ground running

Zidane, of course, has more important things to worry about than whether or not Ronaldo is better than Messi. He is now the head coach of Real Madrid, which is arguably the hardest job in club football.

He took the reigns from Rafa Benitez in January in what represented his very first job in elite-level management. His only experience prior was managing Real Madrid Castilla, the B-team. However, he has started life well. Four wins and one draw in his opening five games is a solid start, but Zidane is all too aware that he will have to take the good with the bad.

He said: "I never thought that I'd be a manager. When your playing career ends all you want to do is spend time with your family. I always liked being on the pitch, it's what I knew how to do. Everything else was foreign to me.

"It's always the manager's fault if the team lose. But you have to accept that responsibility, with all the good and bad that comes with it.

"The main thing is getting my message across to the players. I only give them two or three instructions because they're extremely professional. I have a sensational group of players, I'm delighted with the work they're doing."

Real Madrid take on Athletic Bilbao on Saturday and need nothing but a win to keep their La Liga hopes alive.

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Cristiano Ronaldo
La Liga
Real Madrid
Lionel Messi
Zinedine Zidane

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