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Messi or Ronaldo? Ashley Cole picks the tougher opponent

726   //    05 Feb 2019, 15:45 IST

FC Barcelona v Real Madrid CF - La Liga
FC Barcelona v Real Madrid CF - La Liga

What's the story?

Derby County defender Ashley Cole has made his pick as to who is the tougher opponent between Barcelona ace Lionel Messi and Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo.

In case you didn't know...

The former Arsenal and Chelsea left-back appeared as a pundit on Monday Night Football as Premier League table-toppers Liverpool were held to a 1-1 draw by West Ham. 

Cole recalled the backlash he received when he left the Gunners after eight successful years to join London rivals Chelsea in 2006, stating that the backlash still hurts him. The 39-year-old had recently joined Frank Lampard's Derby County.

The defender has come up against Messi and Ronaldo on numerous occasions and has now been asked to pick the tougher opponent between the two.

The heart of the matter

When answering Twitter questions last night, Cole came across a fan inquiry asking him who was the tougher opponent between among Messi and Ronaldo.

The former Gunners defender answered (via GiveMeSport), "It has to be Messi."


"People talk about Ronaldo more because I played against him more. But I think to mark Messi, on his day... he was just too good for me."

He cheekily added, "But, again, he’s never scored [against me]."

The tables were turned for Ronaldo back in 2016 when he was asked about the toughest defenders he has faced.

The Portuguese told Coach Magazine (via Goal), "Over the years I had some great battles with Ashley Cole, he does not give you a second to breathe."

"He was such a tenacious player when he was at his peak, quick, tough in the tackle. You knew it would never be an easy game."

What's next?

Cole's Derby County, who are in seventh place in the Championship table, is scheduled to face Hull City this Saturday.