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Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi hailed as "all-time greats" by Deco

Deco remained diplomatic as ever in his Messi-Ronaldo comparisons
Deco remained diplomatic as ever in his Messi-Ronaldo comparisons
ANALYST
Modified 31 May 2020
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Former Portugal midfielder Deco spoke in detail about Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. The diminutive midfielder played alongside both Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, and came up with the perfect description of the legendary duo.

Speaking to Portuguese news outlet A Bola, Deco claimed that Lionel Messi is a one in a lifetime player who will be remembered for a long time.

The pair were teammates at Barcelona and Deco was amongst the players who watched Lionel Messi in his formative years.

Deco lavishes praise Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi

Deco and Lionel Messi enjoyed a successful time together at Barcelona
Deco and Lionel Messi enjoyed a successful time together at Barcelona
"Lionel Messi number is something you can hardly imagine, you see someone who defines, who watches as one of the greatest in history. He also scored as many goals as the greatest in history and remains a great scorer for 10, 12 years."

The two-time UEFA Champions League winner added that players like Lionel Messi do not come by too often.

"It is almost impossible that before Lionel Messi we could have imagined this, he is a player who will be in memory for life. We will see if in 20 years something similar will appear." 

Deco also lavished praise on his compatriot Cristiano Ronaldo. The attacking midfielder made 75 appearances for the Portuguese national team and played alongside Cristiano Ronaldo in three major tournaments.

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The 42-year-old talked up Cristiano Ronaldo's athleticism and evolution as a player, adding that he is sure to go down as an all-time great.

Deco and Cristiano Ronaldo represented three major tournament together for Portugal
Deco and Cristiano Ronaldo represented three major tournament together for Portugal
“Cristiano Ronaldo is different from Lionel Messi, as a player, but it is impressive how he adapted to his characteristics. In the beginning, he played in the wing, little by little he grew up as a player and is one of the best in history. He is a great athlete."

Deco retired in 2013 after a fantastic career with club and country. The former Barcelona and Chelsea midfielder is one of only 12 players in history to have shared the dressing room with Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

The legendary duo have 11 Ballon d'Or awards between them and are widely regarded as two of the greatest footballers of all time. Since 2009, the pair were involved in several high-profile clashes in La Liga and that period was a memorable time for football fans across the world.

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In 2018, Cristiano Ronaldo shocked the world by securing a stunning switch to Juventus, where he has continued to rack up the goals. Lionel Messi, on the other hand, is still at Barcelona and has almost single-handedly spearheaded the Blaugrana's title charge this season.

Last year, Lionel Messi became the first footballer in history to win the Ballon d'Or for the sixth time, with Cristiano Ronaldo currently one shy of him. The Portuguese hitman has shown no signs of slowing down and is expected to be in contention for the award this year, as he looks to equal his arch-rival's tally.

Published 31 May 2020, 16:09 IST
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