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Gary Neville explains 2 reasons why Cristiano Ronaldo will become better than Lionel Messi

Gary Neville has his say on the eternal Cristiano Ronaldo-Lionel Messi debate

News 20 Apr 2017, 11:00 IST
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Gary Neville believes Cristiano Ronaldo will go on to become the greatest player of this generation

What’s the story?

Manchester United legend and famous pundit Gary Neville has backed Cristiano Ronaldo to outlast Lionel Messi and keep performing at a high level for many more years to come. The 32-year-old star might not have been at his influential best this season, but Ronaldo has time and again stepped up during the crucial matches and shown his importance to the side by scoring some vital goals.

Neville has been very impressed with the Portuguese forward and thinks that the change in role for Ronaldo will ensure that he lasts more than Messi and scores more number of goals than the Argentine maestro. Speaking to Sky Sports, Neville said:

“I wonder if he’s building up for a long career as a centre-forward, where his running doesn’t have to be 11km, 12km per match, it can be 7km, 8km, 9km, where he can still score two goals and live off moments,

“Since he’s gone to Real Madrid he’s contributed enormously to everything they’ve done but he’s living more off moments rather than a contribution through a whole 90 minutes. He’ll be thinking Pele. Those numbers. Those scandalous numbers you think you can never achieve, the appearances, the goals, and that to me is where it’s going.

“I think he’ll play for longer than Lionel Messi, I think he’ll score more goals in the end and will go on to do incredible things.”

In case you didn’t know...

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Is Messi on the decline?

Cristiano and Lionel Messi are widely considered the two greatest players of our generation and there has been an intense debate between fans, pundits and players as to who among the two is better. Both Ronaldo and Messi have redefined the way we look at football and opinions as to who is better is mostly based on personal preference and choice.

Also read: Frank Lampard chooses between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo

The heart of the matter

Gary Neville is a respected pundit and his views on players and tactics are usually received very well by fans and players alike. So, when Neville himself says that Ronaldo might grow to become better than Messi, it is bound to attract a lot of attention.

Ronaldo has completely reinvented himself this season and although he might not have the same amount of goals as Lionel Messi, there have been signs that he is adapting himself to the new role and revelling in it. Lionel Messi, on the other hand, has seen his influence wane in certain crucial matches this season and it will be interesting to see if what Gary Neville has predicted comes true in the future.

Also read: Record-breaking Ronaldo remains the model pro

What’s next?

The latest chapter in the Ronaldo-Messi rivalry is set to be written in the El Clasico this weekend. While Real Madrid still have a chance of completing a stunning double, Barcelona will be determined to get the better of their arch rivals and win the La Liga once again this season.

Author’s take

Cristiano Ronaldo has shown that age is just a number and he has kept up his impressive performances even though he is 32. However, Messi has shown time and again that he is capable of the miraculous. It is too early to write off the Argentine, but I am inclined to agree with Gary Neville on the fact that Ronaldo will last longer in the game than Barcelona star Lionel Messi.

Also read: Reports: Lionel Messi thinks Cristiano Ronaldo is not a complete player anymore

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