After Cristiano Ronaldo scored yet another hat-trick for Real Madrid against Wolfsburg on Tuesday night, the age-old Ronaldo v Messi debate has resurfaced.
Some football fans still believe that Ronaldo, who has now netted 37 hat-tricks for Los Blancos, is a more complete footballer than Messi and subsequently deserves the title of ‘world’s best player’.
Others, meanwhile, believe that Messi - who is almost two-and-a-half years younger than Cristiano but has won five Ballon d’Or awards, two more than Ronaldo - is still the top dog.
SUBMIT AN ARTICLE
Apply to become a GMS writer by signing up and submitting a 250-word test article: https://gms.to/haveyoursay5
If Messi plays a starring role for Barcelona in their Champions League quarter-final against Atletico Madrid this evening, the Argentina international will be lauded by your average football fan as the world’s best.
There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to this particular debate - it’s all about personal preference and opinion.
Biraghi explains difference between Ronaldo and Messi
But one man in a better position than most to judge between the two players is Granada defender Cristiano Biraghi, who has played against both superstars.
The Italian left-back, like a lot of football fans, believes Messi is the most naturally talented of the two footballers but has described Ronaldo as a ‘constructed phenomenon’.
"It's really hard to choose between Messi and Ronaldo,” he revealed in an interview with Goal. “I think Messi is pure talent, while Ronaldo is a constructed phenomenon.
"And I do not mean that negatively, but quite simply the Argentinian is quite natural, while the Portuguese has studied everything in detail.
"I always say that Messi could even stop training by tomorrow and would not change anything, if Ronaldo were to do the same, however, [it] would not [be] the same thing. He is a professional machine.”
Tevez: Messi works on his talent like Ronaldo
While it might be true that Messi is the more naturally gifted of the two players - again, this is all down to opinion - Carlos Tevez, who has played alongside the South American star as well as Ronaldo, believes suggestions that the former doesn’t need to work as hard on the training ground is nonsense.
“Messi works on his talent too, eh,” Tevez was recently quoted as saying by Spanish newspaper Marca, per the Mirror. “Just look at how when Leo started he never scored goals from free kicks, he practiced them loads and now he scores loads like that.
“I don’t think that with Cristiano Ronaldo it’s a matter of work more than talent. Messi in the last two years has begun to really take care about what he’s eating, he’s ditched the cola etc.”
Biraghi impressed by Neymar
Many predict that Neymar will become the first player other than Ronaldo or Messi to win the Ballon d’Or since Kaka in 2007 - and Biraghi has also been impressed with the skilful Brazil international.
"Before I came here in Spain, I had never seen an entire game of Neymar,” he added. “Sure, you could see he was a phenomenon, I watched videos on Youtube and his goals and it was evident that it was not a normal player.
"But to see it in the game is another thing, because it gives you the feeling of having in front a complete player, both from a technical standpoint, but also in intensity, availability, self-sacrifice."
Who is the world’s best player: Messi or Ronaldo? Let us know your thoughts by leaving a comment below.