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GOAT Debate: Arsene Wenger gives his verdict on longstanding debate between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi

09 Sep 2019, 12:04 IST

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi
Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi

What's the story?

Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has joined a series of football personalities who have given their verdict on arguably the longest-running debate in football, questioning who the better player between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo is.

According to Wenger, although both the poster boys have their own unique credentials, the 'artistic' nature of Messi's game has always attracted him.

In case you didn't know...

Messi and Ronaldo have been at the forefront of modern football for more than a decade, having changed the heights of what a player can achieve - with consistent, scintillating performances.

Both players have established themselves as legends of the game, with five Ballon d'Ors each to complement their achievements. They are both well in their 30s but continue to produce efficient performances for their respective clubs.

Last season, Messi led his side to the LaLiga title after scoring 36 league goals for Barcelona, which also earned him the European Golden Shoe. Meanwhile, Ronaldo helped Juventus to the Serie A trophy by producing 21 league goals for the Italian giants, thereby earning himself the league's Player of the Year award.

The heart of the matter

Wenger has had his say on the never-ending debate, telling beIN Sports USA that while both players have their own distinct qualities, he is drawn to Messi because of the artistic nature of his game.

"I would say that they are so good that it’s difficult to choose – in 10 footballers of the year, it’s five and five, so that shows they are really on the same level," he opined.

"Artistically, Messi is as well a guy who can give the final ball, so he’s maybe more a creative player than Ronaldo. Ronaldo is more a finisher, better in the air, more athletic, and Messi is the more artistic."

He concluded, "So basically you are always tempted a little bit more by a player like Messi."

What's next?

While Ronaldo is currently on international duty with Portugal, Messi is on a break from the Argentina national team as a result of the ban he received following his controversial comments against CONMEBOL in the Copa America.

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