There have been many players of the present and past, as well as experts and fans alike who regularly indulge in comparisons between two players considered to be the best ever to have played the game. With an astonishing eleven (!) Ballons d'Or between them over a span of 12 years, there is no doubt over where Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo stand in the echelons of the sport.
Who does Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount prefer?
When the Chelsea star was asked to pick one over the other between the Portuguese and the Argentine, he admitted that it was a difficult choice to make — but ultimately opted for Cristiano Ronaldo.
"You know what, between [Cristiano] Ronaldo and [Lionel] Messi, there's not much in it. But I'd probably go... Ronaldo, Messi, then I don't know, I can't remember the last name [poking fun at Chelsea and England teammate Tammy Abraham]."
Although he did say it was a difficult choice, it may not really come as a surprise that Mount chose Cristiano Ronaldo, given that he was a player the Englishman based some parts of his game on.
The Chelsea midfielder once shared a video of himself when he was still a young boy in Chelsea's academy where he tried to replicate Cristiano Ronaldo's famous knuckleball technique to score free kicks. The footage was of a young Mount saying;
"I try to base my free-kick on Ronaldo, hit the ball by the valve, and it moves. That's all you do. Top corner - top bins."
The Blues academy product immediately went on to score a superb free-kick using the same technique in the video. Mount has since gone on to make his Chelsea debut and accumulate nearly 90 games across all competitions, scoring 13 and setting up a further 12 in the process while playing across all midfield roles.
Cristiano Ronaldo 'has the upper hand' over Lionel Messi claims Bundesliga star
Bayer Leverkusen star Leon Bailey recently spoke on the pair and who he would choose between them, and he also chose Cristiano Ronaldo — albeit offered a much more detailed explanation than Chelsea star Mount.
The winger believes that the Argentine has been at the same club for too long unlike the Portuguese, who has won league titles in three different European leagues and guided two clubs, Manchester United and Real Madrid, to UEFA Champions League titles.
Speaking on the pair to ESPN, Bailey explained;
"I think he [Lionel Messi] has been at one club for too long. The big difference between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi is Cristiano Ronaldo has done great things in different teams and that's what makes him great. Obviously they are two great players but Ronaldo will always have that upper hand."
The Jamaican international continued,
"I believe Lionel Messi is more talented when it comes to [pure] talent than Cristiano. But when it comes to more success, I would give that to Ronaldo 100 times."
Despite their endless list of achievements, both Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi couldn't prevent their sides from losing the first legs of their respective UCL ties in the ongoing edition.
While Juventus still have a good chance of progressing due to an upcoming home tie and a crucial away goal (Porto lead 2-1), the same cannot be said about Barcelona, who go to Paris for the second leg with a 4-1 deficit.