Some of the greatest names in the sport has played with Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, and they have given their judgment on who is better
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are probably the greatest footballers to ever play the game. They have played for great clubs at the highest level which proves their greatness. While Ronaldo has played for Manchester United, Real Madrid, and now Juventus, Messi has stuck with Barcelona since he was a teenager.
Although their individual greatness is of no question, they have been helped by teammates with great quality. Messi had Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Luis Suarez, and Neymar to back him up. Ronaldo got the support from Wayne Rooney, Carlos Tevez, Mesut Ozil, and Toni Kroos.
However, only a few have had the privilege to rub their shoulders with both Messi and Ronaldo. And while pundits and fans argue over who is better between the two, their teammates love them both. However, such comparisons have not escaped their teammates from time to time. They have been repeatedly asked whom they consider as better, and many times they have given their preference.
Here are nine players who played with them both and have given their opinion regarding who is better.
1. Angel Di Maria
Di Maria played with Ronaldo between 2010 and 2014 at Real Madrid. The duo together won the one La Liga. two Copas del Rey, one Spanish Super Cup, one Champions League, and one UEFA Super Cup. However, he is playing longer with Messi for Argentina. Their stint together have been less successful as they came runners-up in one World Cup and two Copas America.
The PSG winger picked his compatriot over Ronaldo but still credited both players as being world-class. He told TyC Sports per Daily Mail back in 2018: “Messi is always the best, he’s the best every year. Cristiano Ronaldo’s a special player, but Messi’s from another planet. He further stated that there are no words to describe Messi as he always surprises the world.
2. Carlos Tevez
Tevez played with Ronaldo for Manchester United between 2007 and 2009, and with Messi for Argentina since 2005. Just like Di Maria, he had also been more successful with Ronaldo than with Messi.
He too has rated Messi higher than Ronaldo, but only “just”. “Messi plays another sport. For Messi to score three goals [in any given game] is normal,” he told ESPN Argentina per FIFA.com.
3. Nelson Semedo
Semedo plays with Messi for Barcelona and with Ronaldo for Portugal. He has, however, declined to choose his favourite among the two. He said he enjoys every moment he plays with them and would not like to select his favourite.
4. Andre Gomes
Andre Gomes won a number of trophies with Barcelona, but he did not have a productive time at Camp Nou. However, he is a regular for Portugal. And like Semedo, he has also declined to pick his favourite. “I do not like to compare them out of respect,” he told Catalunya Radio in 2017.
5. Ezequiel Garay
Garay has spent more time with Messi than with Ronaldo, as he was young when he played for Real Madrid. He has picked Messi over Ronaldo. “When people ask me who is the best player ever, I say Leo,” he explained.
6. Fernando Gago
Gago spent considerable time with both Messi and Ronaldo. He has picked his international teammate over his Real Madrid teammate. “For me he [Ronaldo] is not number one. For me, the best in the world is Messi because of the way he plays, moves with the ball and changes matches.”
7. Gerard Pique
Pique is Messi’s long time teammate and the duo share a great friendship. He gave ESPN the famous line of: “For me, it’s like Messi is not human but Cristiano is the best of the humans.”
8. Henrik Larson
Messi was just a teenager when Larsson played for Barcelona. He has played with Ronaldo much closer than with Messi. He still picked Messi over his Portuguese counterpart. “Cristiano is unlucky to be playing at the same time as Messi. Ronaldo is a very good player, but Messi is even better.”, the Swede explained to Goal.com
9. Gabriel Heinze
Heinze too could not select the better player of the duo.
“Cristiano Ronaldo has drive and enviable self-discipline,” he explained to La Nacion. “He’s obsessive. As long as he has not reached the goal he has put in his head, he does not stop trying.”
“Leo is inexplicable. Footballistically, he does not come from this planet. And as a person, he leads such a quiet life that is admirable.”
We feel we are privileged to live in an era where we get to observe both Messi and Ronaldo every week. With Ronaldo 35 years of age and Mess 33, it is inevitable that they will hang up their boots in the coming future. As a result, comparing them instead of witnessing their greatness is just a waste of time. They both are great in their own ways and have contributed to their teams being the best in the world.