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GOAT debate: Arsenal's Iwobi makes his pick between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo

ANALYST
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18.13K   //    04 Jul 2019, 11:24 IST

The five-time Ballon d'Or winners have set unprecedented highs in football in the course of their decade-long careers.
The five-time Ballon d'Or winners have set unprecedented highs in football in the course of their decade-long careers.

What's the story?

Arsenal forward Alex Iwobi has given his thoughts on the decade-long debate surrounding Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in a quickfire interview with the official Nigeria Super Eagles YouTube channel.

In case you didn't know...

Not a single day goes by without the legions of social media trolls comparing every stat in the book to determine who is the greater player between Ronaldo and Messi. The same took place towards the end of the European club season, with Ronaldo's debut season in Italy and Messi's individual success in Spain the primary measuring rods on the GOAT metre.

After having left Real Madrid last summer, Ronaldo went on to help Juventus to their eighth consecutive Serie A title, scoring 21 league goals in the process. His exploits may not have earned him the Golden Boot but they did lead him to the Italian top flight's Player of the Year trophy.

Meanwhile, Messi led Barcelona to consecutive LaLiga titles, scoring 36 league goals, which earned him the Pichichi trophy and the European Golden Shoe. The Argentine maestro tallied a mind-blowing 51 goals in all competitions and his individual exploits have been the subject of praise from all corners.

The Champions League, however, emerged as their biggest failure in the recently-concluded campaign. While Juventus crashed out of the competition after a quarter-final loss to Ajax, Barcelona endured a humiliating exit after a spectacular comeback by Liverpool in the semi-finals.

Internationally, Ronaldo led Portugal to the inaugural UEFA Nations League trophy, while Messi met disappointment as Argentina crashed out of the Copa America after a controversial loss to Brazil in the semi-finals.

The heart of the matter

Iwobi has given a straightforward answer when asked to pick between the two geniuses. Speaking to the Nigeria Super Eagles YouTube channel, the Arsenal star simply replied: "Difficult. But for me, it's Messi".

Iwobi's comments comes in the midst of heavy criticism towards Messi, who has once again failed to inspire the Albiceleste to a major international title. The 32-year-old has often been on the receiving end of heavy criticism when in an Argentina shirt, having failed to replicate his club successes with his national team.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner has guided Argentina to the finals of the 2014 FIFA World Cup as well as the 2015 and 2016 editions of the Copa America, but ultimately failed to win any trophies.

What's next?

Iwobi is currently on international duty with the Super Eagles of Nigeria at the 2019 AFCON in Egypt. Nigeria are scheduled to face Cameroon in the knockout stages of the AFCON on Saturday, July 6.

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