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Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi? Brazil legend Rivaldo makes his choice

7.73K   //    20 Dec 2017, 08:02 IST

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Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are undoubtedly the two greatest footballers of our generation

What's the story?

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are the two standout footballers of our generation and there has been an endless debate between pundits, fans and even players as to who is better.

Now, Brazil legend Rivaldo has had his say on it. While he admitted that Ronaldo deserved the Ballon d'Or award this year, he said clearly that he believed Messi was the best player of this generation.

Speaking to Betfair, Rivaldo said:

"I would like to play with Messi, it would be amazing. He is the best of the world, the one who makes more differences, Ronaldo? He is the most dangerous player at Real. 

"It is hard to stop him, like Messi, because both score a lot of goals and you never know what is going to be the next thing they will invent for scoring."

Also read: 10 players who could have won the Ballon d'Or if Messi and Ronaldo did not exist

In case you didn't know...

Rivaldo won the Ballon d'Or in 1999

A supreme playmaker and forward, Rivaldo was blessed with a magical left foot and he was one of the main reasons for Brazil's dominance in the last 1990s and early 2000s. Having won the Ballon d'Or for his stupendous individual performances in 1999, Rivaldo also had a stellar 2002 World Cup where he combined with the likes of Ronaldo and Ronaldinho to decimate opposition defences.

Although Rivaldo won only 1 Ballon d'Or award in his career, he claimed that he could have won more if he was playing in this era:

"If Ronaldo won is because he deserved it," Rivaldo added. "In my time there were more players than today challenging for being the best in the world.

"I remember Figo, Del Piero or Totti, now you always hear about the same players and I am pretty sure I could challenge with Messi and Ronaldo because football was harder in my times.

"I am not here for controversy, I'll just say that both are very good players. However, in my time you could find more quality players than today, in which you only hear about Messi, Ronaldo and Neymar."

Also read: 5 players who did not deserve their Ballon d'Or 2017 ranking

The heart of the matter

Ronaldo and Messi are both at the peak of their careers. While the Portuguese superstar had a stunning 2016 and 2017, guiding Real Madrid to back-to-back Champions League titles and inspiring Portugal to the Euro 2016 championship, Lionel Messi also was at his usual best finishing as the top scorer in 2016/17 and winning the Golden Boot in La Liga last season.

Choosing between the two is almost impossible and rather than based on ability, the choice is usually made on personal preference. Rivaldo’s answer shows that he prefers the Argentine maestro over the Portuguese superstar.


Do you think Rivaldo would challenge Messi and Ronaldo for the Ballon d'Or? I certainly think so!

Author's take

A number of players, pundits and fans have weighed in on this debate and there is almost always no clear majority as to who is better. Instead of indulging in a constant comparison between the two legends, it will be better if we all take a backseat and enjoy the fact that we live in the same era as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Also read: Ranking the 10 greatest Ballon d'Or winners of all time

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