Jurgen Klopp gives his verdict on long-standing Messi-Ronaldo debate
What's the story?
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has given his verdict on the long-standing debate surrounding Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi and Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo. Klopp has ranked the Argentine above his former LaLiga rival as the best player in the world, and even compared him with Brazilian icon Pele.
In case you didn't know...
Over the course of Messi's rise to the summit of modern football, he has been compared to an array of icons, most frequently compatriot Diego Maradona, Pele and, of course, Ronaldo.
The Barcelona maestro's rivalry with Ronaldo is particularly intense owing to the fact that they play in the same generation. The decade-long comparisons have been at the centre of every conversation regarding elite footballers, and have prompted hotly-contested debates that appear to be endless.
This season, Messi has 46 goals in all competitions, a feat which has helped his side to LaLiga glory, the Champions League semi-finals and the Copa del Rey final.
The Catalan giants will go head-to-head with Liverpool in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final fixture later tonight. They also have a Copa del Rey final against Valencia to play this month.
The heart of the matter
Klopp, whose side is preparing to face Messi later tonight, has hailed the five-time Ballon d'Or winner as the best in the world.
Speaking ahead of Liverpool's clash with Barcelona, the former Borussia Dortmund coach said (via The Express UK), "Messi would be the player at number one. Cristiano Ronaldo is in that for sure but the rest we have to see."
"I coached a few good players but they didn’t finish their careers yet. I didn’t see Pele live but there are a lot of good players. Lionel Messi is for me the best."
Barcelona will host Liverpool at the Camp Nou tonight at 12.30AM (IST). The Messi-Ronaldo debate will likely continue for many more years to come, but for now the Argentine has a chance to add yet another accolade to his already glittering career, and give his fans more ammunition to call him the best.