Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi aren't just two of the greatest players of all time but also two of the most effective goal scorers in the modern game. The duo has scored over 600 career club goals each and that number exceeds 700 if one factors in international strikes.
However, which defenders have proved hardest to negotiate for these two players? They have, in fact, revealed their toughest opponents in interviews before.
Cristiano Ronaldo picks a Premier League legend
Cristiano Ronaldo named former Chelsea and Arsenal left back Ashley Cole as the toughest opponent that he's ever come up against in an interview with Coach Mag.
"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."
Ronaldo has been in superb form for Juventus in the 2020 calendar year, scoring 23 goals so far - which is more than any striker in a top European league.
Ronaldo got his team's third goal against Sampdoria in their opening Serie A fixture to kick start the 2020-21 season on an auspicious note.
Lionel Messi, on the other hand, named a left field option when asked by DAZN about who his toughest opponent was.
Instead of choosing from the likes of Ronaldo's former Real Madrid teammates Sergio Ramos or Pepe - who have adopted a rather physical approach with him in the past - the Argentinian wizard singled out Huesca right back Pablo Maffeo as his choice.
"Man-marking doesn't bother me - you know that there will be tough matches and it can be strange to always have someone around you. In truth, it hasn't happened to me that often. It doesn't bother me, but it is strange."
"Pablo Maffeo [formerly] of Girona [is my choice for toughest opponent]. It was intense [when I played against him]! I've never been one who complains. I think physical contact and kicks are part of the game. I get more annoyed when I play badly and I get a little more angry. But if I'm not [playing bad], it's not a problem, it's part of the game and I don't take it personally."
Messi is expected to take to the field against Villarreal this weekend for Barcelona's first La Liga fixture of the season.Published 22 Sep 2020, 17:12 IST