Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi? Klopp, Rooney, Pele, and 47 others give their answer

The Cristiano Ronaldo vs Lionel Messi debate is one that may never be truly settled.

In truth, it an argument that could rage for decades to come with both men leaving an unforgettable mark on the history of the beautiful game.

However, while we may never tie a neat little bow over the question, we can get some idea of who might be the best based off the opinions of the biggest names in football.

So, while we are simply not qualified to give an answer, here are 50 players, pundits, and managers, per a list originally compiled by Marca, who are.

Pele – Cristiano Ronaldo

“Today Cristiano is the best player in the world. Portuguese is the best because it is more consistent and more stable. But obviously, you can’t forget Messi.”

Gary Lineker – Lionel Messi

“I’m also a huge fan of Ronaldo, but if you’re talking about the greatest player of all time, there shouldn’t even be a debate.”

Francesco Totti – Lionel Messi

“Messi is number one … don’t tell Cristiano!”

Arthur Melo – Cristiano Ronaldo

“Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are two great leaders but I choose Cristiano. Each one has their own way of leading the team. but Cristiano shows it with gestures, on the pitch and in the locker room.”

Jurgen Klopp – Lionel Messi

“Messi or Cristiano? Leo is better, but I couldn’t admire Ronaldo more.”

BARCELONA, SPAIN – MAY 01: Jurgen Klopp, Manager of Liverpool watches his team train ahead of the UEFA Champions League Semi Final first leg match between Barcelona and Liverpool at the Nou Camp on May 01, 2019 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Ronaldo Nazario – Lionel Messi

“I’d sign them both if I had a lot of money. I really like both, but I think I would sign Messi.”

Jerome Boateng – Lionel Messi

“You simply cannot stop Messi alone. With Ronaldo it can sometimes work.”

Wayne Rooney – Lionel Messi

“Despite my friendship with Cristiano, I would stay with Messi.”

Mesut Ozil – Cristiano Ronaldo

“Messi has proven to be one of the best in Spain, but Cristiano was the best in every country where he played.”

N’Golo Kante – Lionel Messi

“Messi or Ronaldo? Messi.”

Paolo Maldini – Lionel Messi

“I know Messi and Ronaldo very well. They are two players who have won the Ballon d’Or in the last ten years. In my opinion, Messi is above.”

Johan Cruyff – Lionel Messi

“I’ve always liked small and technical players because I was like that. Cristiano is a great player but he is a scorer.”

Kylian Mbappe – Cristiano Ronaldo

“Without detracting from Messi, I am inspired by Cristiano Ronaldo’s career.”

Koke – Lionel Messi

“Cristiano is an athlete, but Messi is God.”

Gianluigi Buffon – Lionel Messi

“Messi is more complete because he starts from further back and has higher technical quality.”

BARCELONA, SPAIN – APRIL 19: Gianluigi Buffon ofJuventus pats Lionel Messi of Barcelona on the back during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final second leg match between FC Barcelona and Juventus at Camp Nou on April 19, 2017 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Zlatan Ibrahimovic – Lionel Messi

“I played with Messi and saw him every day, and I also faced Cristiano. For me, Cristiano is a machine when it comes to scoring goals. But I see Messi more complete.”

Frank Lampard – Lionel Messi

“It’s a horrible question, but I’m going to bet on Messi. I stay with him for his pure and natural talent, but what Ronaldo has done has been absolutely incredible.”

Diego Maradona – Lionel Messi

“Cristiano or Messi? Messi
.”

Gariel Heinze – Cristiano Ronaldo

“If I had to take out the checkbook, I would do it for Ronaldo. He has shown me that he is the best in the world.”

Arda Turan – Lionel Messi

“Messi is present in every moment of football. He can dictate the game in all respects. There is nothing bad to say about Ronaldo, but he is a scorer.”

Paul Scholes – Lionel Messi

“Seeing Messi against Tottenham made me think again about the Messi/Cristiano debate. Who’s the best? Messi. But Ronaldo is brilliant.”

MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM – APRIL 29: Paul Scholes of Manchester United pressurises Lionel Messi of Barcelona during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final, second leg match between Manchester United and Barcelona at Old Trafford on April 29, 2008 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)

Guti – Lionel Messi

“I can only repeat what I have said before and that is that Messi is the best in the world at the moment. It hurts to admit it, but it’s the simple truth.”

Federico Valverde – Cristiano Ronaldo

“They are the two best players in the world but I will always be on Cristiano Ronaldo’s side.”

Carlos Tevez – Lionel Messi

“Messi did not need to go to the gym an hour before or start training to dribble, Cristiano did.”

Ryan Giggs – Lionel Messi

“Choosing between one or the other is very difficult. I would like to say Cristiano because obviously I played with him and saw his evolution as a footballer, but Messi is a genius. He’s a player that you only see once in your life.”

Javier Hernandez – Cristiano Ronaldo

“Cristiano is the best in the world. And then there is Messi.”

MADRID, SPAIN – SEPTEMBER 13: Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid reacts beside Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez after Atletico de Madrid scored their 2nd goal during the La Liga match between Real Madrid and Atletico de Madrid at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on September 13, 2014 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

Diego Simeone – Lionel Messi

“If I had to choose between Messi or Ronaldo would choose Messi. I do not have any doubt
.”

Steven Gerrard – Lionel Messi

“There are certain players who are on a different level than the others, Messi and Ronaldo. But Ronaldo is not on my team. I’m more about what you are going to do for the team. What are we going to achieve together?”

Marco van Basten – Lionel Messi

“Cristiano is a great player, but those who say he is better than Messi know nothing about football, or say it in bad faith. Messi is one of a kind. Impossible to imitate and impossible to repeat. A player like him appears every 50 or 100 years.”

Fabio Capello – Lionel Messi

“Ronaldo is an extraordinary footballer, but Messi is a genius.”

Gareth Bale – Cristiano Ronaldo

“Cristiano Ronaldo shows every week that he is superior to Messi.”

MALAGA, SPAIN – MAY 21: Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid and Gareth Bale of Real Madrid celebrate after their team are crowned champions following the La Liga match between Malaga and Real Madrid at La Rosaleda Stadium on May 21, 2017 in Malaga, Spain. (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)

Romario – Lionel Messi

“He’s cooler, more technical. I prefer to see Messi play, but Cristiano is among the five best in history, without a doubt.”

Predrag Mijatovic – Cristiano Ronaldo

“They are different. Their way of playing and moving is different. But for me, Cristiano is better than Messi. It is more complete. He has more speed, explosiveness, handles both legs, goes well on his head … For me, Cristiano has no defects.”

Eden Hazard – Lionel Messi

“There are not two GOATs. There is only one GOAT: Leo Messi.”

Kaka – Cristiano Ronaldo

“The best in the world is something very relative. It depends a lot on the collective. I would put Messi and Cristiano as the best in the world. But for modern football, Ronaldo is more complete.”

Kevin De Bruyne – Lionel Messi

“Messi or Cristiano? Messi.”

Sir Alex Ferguson – Cristiano Ronaldo

“Messi is a Barcelona player. However, Cristiano could play for Stockport County and score a hat-trick. Has it all. He can shoot with both feet, pitch…”

Marcus Rashford – Lionel Messi

“I have to say that some things Messi does are incredible. I’m a big Cristiano Ronaldo fan, but I think Messi is the best of all.”

Matthijs De Ligt – Cristiano Ronaldo

“Cristiano an incredible professional. The best of his generation and one of the best players in history
.”

Iker Casillas – Cristiano Ronaldo

“I have no doubts, Cristiano Ronaldo is the best in the world for me.”

MADRID, SPAIN – MARCH 10: goalkeeper Iker Casillas (L) of Real Madrid CF holds his teammate Cristiano Ronaldo (R) after loosing the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Real Madrid CF and FC Schalke 04 at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on March 10, 2015 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)

Ilkay Gundogan – Lionel Messi

“Cristiano or Messi? Messi”

Rafael Van der Vaart – Cristiano Ronaldo

“There will be no one else like Ronaldo and Leo. They are phenomena, but between the two I prefer the ‘Bug.’”

Marco Verratti – Lionel Messi

“I have played against greats like Ronaldo, but I love Messi.”

Vincent Del Bosque – Lionel Messi

“I stay with Messi. Beyond the team in which he plays, I see him as a more natural footballer, more from the street, from the neighborhood, from a lifetime playing with friends on the street. Even so, Cristiano has extraordinary courage.”

Martin Odegaard – Cristiano Ronaldo

“I prefer Ronaldo before Messi.”

Thiago Silva – Lionel Messi

“I have seen others like Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Adriano … but like Messi there is no other like him
.”

Paulo Futre – Cristiano Ronaldo

“There is no better footballer in the world than Cristiano Ronaldo.”

Romelu Lukaku – Cristiano Ronaldo

“Messi or Cristiano? Oh my God…Cristiano Ronaldo.”

David Beckham – Lionel Messi

“Messi is simply the best player in the world. It is impossible that there is another like him. He, like Cristiano Ronaldo, who is not at his level, is above the rest.”

Ronaldinho – Lionel Messi

“I would have loved to continue playing with him. I didn’t have enough time with him, he was very young. It’s the best ever, without a doubt.”

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