What's the story?
Former Manchester United and Real Madrid manager, Jose Mourinho has attempted to settle the debate that has been centred around Barcelona ace, Lionel Messi and Juventus star, Cristiano Ronaldo for over a decade: who is the greatest?
In case you didn't know...
It is a fact well-known that we live in an era of individual greats in the game. Messi and Ronaldo have been at the forefront of the tag 'the best in football', having consistently been at the top for over a decade.
The duo not only tops the goal-scoring charts, but also boasts of a record number of individual awards such as the Ballon d'Or, having won the coveted prize five times each.
While Ronaldo has moved to Serie A giants Juventus for a new challenge, Messi remained at Barcelona, helping the club climb up to the top of the table in LaLiga.
The heart of the matter
Mourinho, who has managed Ronaldo at Real Madrid, has now weighed in on the eternal debate, stating that it is unfair to both the players to say one is better than the other.
Speaking to beIN SPORTS, the Portuguese manager said, “I think it is unfair to both of them when someone says one is better than the other one. I think they are just different.”
The 55-year-old recalled that he was incredibly happy to have had Ronaldo on his team, adding that games against Messi were always a challenge.
“The only thing that I can say is that when I had Ronaldo on my side I was a very happy man. And when I had to play against Messi I had to think a lot to try and help my team to have chances to succeed.”
Mourinho further said that the one thing he admires in the two is the longevity with which they pursue their ambitions.
“The thing to admire is the number of years that they have stayed at the top. To win once, it can happen. To win and win and win and win and win is much more difficult.”
“As a player you can appear like a hurricane and then disappear. These two guys have been there for ten years and everything is about them until the moment they decide enough is enough and other people can raise the bar.” added the former Chelsea manager.
Echoing Mourinho's sentiments, it is incredible how the two players have stayed at the top of their game for over a decade and continue to do so in their 30s.
While Messi's Barcelona is set to face Leganes in LaLiga on Monday, Ronaldo's Juventus will lock horns with Chievo in the Serie A on Tuesday.Published 18 Jan 2019, 11:23 IST