Giorgio Chiellini explains difference between Cristiano Ronaldo & Leo Messi

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Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini says there is a significant difference between marking Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona's Leo Messi.

The Italian centre-back is widely regarded as one of the finest talents of his generation and has regularly kept the world's best attackers in his pocket.

Indeed, he frustrated Luis Suarez so much during a World Cup match, the striker had to resort to some pretty suspect tactics to get past him.

Needless to say, if your team was facing Messi or Ronaldo, Chiellini is almost certainly one of the men you want in defence. Now, he has revealed how he has approached the two Ballon d'Or titans and it is clear from his comments who he thinks is better.

“Knowing your opponent is fundamental,” he told Eurosport Italia. "Because then you can know their characteristics better.

"With Cristiano Ronaldo, you mark him trying to not let him inside on the right. With Messi… you cross yourself and pray!”

So it is official, it is impossible to defend against Messi.

Messi or Ronaldo

Messi took home his fifth Ballon d'Or title in January, but it has been Ronaldo who has outshot his arch-rival so far this season. Ronaldo has scored 40 goals and assisted a further 13 in 36 appearances thus far while Messi has 35 goals and 12 assists. However, the diminutive Argentinian has played five games fewer.

While Ronaldo looks set to win the Golden Boot in La Liga, it is, once again, Messi who has taken the plaudits. Aided by the spectacular Neymar and industrious Luis Suarez, Messi's Barcelona have simply blown away the competition.

In comparison, Ronaldo's 27 La Liga goals have counted for very little. Real Madrid sit third in the table, 12 points behind leaders Barcelona and four behind city rivals Atletico. Ronaldo has publically lampooned his team-mates for letting him down and the fans have booed him in recent games. Sums the man up perfectly.

Immediate concerns

While Chiellini was certainly having some fun with the reporter, he will be deadly serious when approaching next week's Champions League tie against Bayern Munich.

After a 2-2 draw in the first leg, Chiellini will be hoping to keep Robert Lewandowski quiet in the Allianz Arena and help Juventus qualify for the quarter-finals.

The Pole has 33 goals in all competitions this season including seven in the Champions League. Those stats pale in comparison to Ronaldo and Messi, but Lewandowski certainly has the potential to end Juventus' European hopes.

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Cristiano Ronaldo
La Liga
Real Madrid
Lionel Messi

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