"More of a team player" - When Steven Gerrard had his say on Lionel Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo GOAT debate 

The Cristiano Ronaldo vs. Lionel Messi debate divides the football world
The Cristiano Ronaldo vs. Lionel Messi debate divides the football world

Steven Gerrard once picked Lionel Messi over Cristiano Ronaldo in the GOAT debate. However, the legendary midfielder had nothing but the utmost respect for the Portuguese.

Gerrard went on to brilliantly differentiate between the duo. He was first asked about the topic by Gary Neville in The Overlap podcast. Gerrard picked Messi, but said (via Mirror):

“But I’m someone who would never have a derogatory word to say about Ronaldo, because he is phenomenal. They are the two in my era that were just…the numbers - when you’re a footballer and you’ve done it yourself - I’m not sure who’s going to ever do that again.”

When asked again about the topic in the Robbie Savage podcast, Gerrard explained the difference between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. The Liverpool legend said:

"They're very different for me. I think they're both operating on a different planet to every footballer that's ever lived, probably besides your Peles and your Maradonas. But Messi, for me, is more of a team player. If he's in on goal, he'll look for a pass as well as obviously posting really, really good numbers individually as well."

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have left European football

The 2022-23 season brought an end to the most remarkable era of European football. The two stalwarts of the continent, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, have both left Europe.

Ronaldo joined Saudi Pro League club Al-Nassr as a free agent on December 21, 2022. He has since made 19 appearances for the club, scoring 14 goals and providing three assists. The Portuguese's arrival has seen the SPL gain unprecedented exposure. Household names, like Karim Benzema, N'Golo Kante, and more, have headed to the league now as well.

Messi, meanwhile, is set to join MLS club Inter Miami as a free agent soon. His Paris Saint-Germain contract expired on June 30. The Argentine will be presented by Inter Miami as their player on July 16, 7:30 pm ET.

During their time in European football, the duo shattered countless records. Fans will miss the presence of the two legendary players under the brightest of lights.

Paul Merson predicts the result of Man City vs Man Utd and other Premier League GW 27 fixtures! Click here

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Edited by Nicolaas Ackermann