Luis Figo thinks Portuguese legend is 'number one' - not Cristiano Ronaldo

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Football News

For years, football fans have been at loggerheads arguing who is better: Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi.

The two superstars have dominated world football in recent years - epitomised by them winning the previous eight Ballon d’Ors - and are considered the two greatest footballers of all time.

While Ronaldo and Messi fans are only too keen to start a confrontation with each other whenever the situation arises, there has been a high-profile player getting involved in the discussion recently.

The man is Barcelona legend Xavi, who has reignited the Ronaldo vs. Messi discussion.

Xavi, who now plays for Al Sadd in Qatar, said that Ronaldo’s ability doesn’t come close to matching Messi’s.

Xavi on Ronaldo

"Only a fool could have played football and not recognise Cristiano is an elite footballer," said Xavi.

"But he just has had bad luck to be around at the same time as Leo.”

Ronaldo hits back

Ronaldo obviously wasn’t going to stand for that and hit back at the Spaniard by mocking the fact he hasn’t managed to win a Ballon d’Or in his career - compared to Ronaldo’s three.

"I'm the most searched player on the internet. Anyone who wants free publicity or media attention talks about me,” he said.

"I couldn't care less what Xavi says about me, he plays in Qatar or I don't even know where.

"He's won every collective trophy, including a World Cup and the European Championship, but he's never won a Ballon d'Or."

Figo's 'number one'

While Xavi was always going to back Messi, you’d think that Luis Figo would be fighting Ronaldo’s corner. Not only are they compatriots, but Figo moved from Barcelona to Real Madrid during his playing days.

However, Figo doesn’t think that Ronaldo is the greatest football of all-time. In fact, he doesn’t even think he is the greatest in Portuguese history.

The former midfielder believes that Eusebio is ‘number one’ - but it’s not necessarily because of his footballing ability.

“I admire him [Ronaldo] and I enjoy seeing his achievements. He just gets better every year. He’s making football history,” he told AS.

But how does he compare to Eusebio?

“I never saw him play,” he admitted.

“But for everything he stands for, for the love he showed me, his friendship and his advice, I’d put Eusebio at number one. Everyone will say that I say that for this reason or that reason but ultimately it’s just about respect. Everyone makes history in their own time.”

While Eusebio was an outstanding player in his own right - scoring 41 times in 64 appearances for Portugal - he became an ambassador for both Benfica and his country after his career.

And he obviously helped Figo immensely after retiring as he went on to set a new record of most caps for Portugal with 127 - something that Ronaldo has since broken. Maybe that's a path Ronaldo needs to go down if Figo is to consider him 'number one'.

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La Liga
Real Madrid
Cristiano Ronaldo
Portugal National Football Team
Lionel Messi
Iker Casillas

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