The undying question of who among Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo is the best in the world has been addressed countless times, throughout their impressive careers till date and across the line of fans, players, and managers.
However, this year seems to be showing signs of a slowdown in that peculiar trend, with both giants being denied major honors in the face of Luka Modric.
In fact, there are even some who believe that their respective starts to this season will mean that the Ballon d’Or may truly be up for grabs this time around, ending a long dominance held by the duo.
While Messi showcased one of the finest performances against Tottenham not too long ago, Ronaldo is slowly getting to know his way around Juventus as well. Now, one of the Portuguese superstar’s former teammates has weighed in on the debate.
Wayne Rooney has had pertinent encounters with both men, Ronaldo being his partner in crime for a long time during their tenure at Manchester United, while Messi’s presence depriving the English striker of the Champions League title on two separate occasions in the 2009 and 2011 finals.
Now, speaking to Mirror, Rooney has pronounced the Argentine to be the better player: “In both games (Champions League finals) if we had been against any other team but Barcelona, you would have fancied us to win.
“In my eyes, they are the best team ever and Messi is the best player ever. What he gets to do is incredible. Messi has just got a bit of everything.”
He goes on to add: “Ronaldo has gone from a winger to a striker and a goalscorer. Rather than taking players on all the time, he has gone more one or two touches, getting in the box and scoring goals.
“Messi is a bit of everything – you see him scoring goals from playing probably a deep midfield role at times, and where I’m probably still walking on the pitch he’s scoring. So he is probably the best.”
An objective analysis of their evolved styles does give more merit to Rooney’s remarks, and only time will tell where the duo goes from here.