The former England international has heaped praise on Paris Saint-Germain superstar Lionel Messi, explaining why he has the edge over Man Utd icon Cristiano Ronaldo
Ex-Barcelona goal-scorer and Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker has once again given his verdict on the Lionel Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo debate – favouring the Argentine.
Lineker has never been shy at having his say on which of the two current titans of the game he prefers; regularly waxing lyrical over Messi, a fellow former Barcelona star.
Most recently, the player-turned-presenter has jokingly claimed that Messi, alongside his countryman Diego Maradona, play another sport in comparison to Manchester United icon Ronaldo.
Speaking to Spanish outlet Marca, Lineker was asked on what the perceptions of both Messi and Maradona are in England, to which he replied: “They are two Argentines, it is true, but the reason [I love them] is easy: I love football and what they gave to the game, nobody has given it to them.
“Without comparing them, both did things that the rest of us mortals cannot even imagine. They gave us happiness. There were other greats, like the two Ronaldo’s, for example, but I consider them more as tremendous scorers.
“Diego and Leo did, and do, in each game, two or three things that neither I nor almost anyone did in an entire career. They play another sport.”
Lineker was then pressed further on what he made of Messi and Maradona’s contrasting personalities, the latter quite the eccentric character before his death at the tail-end of last year, while Messi is notoriously quiet.
However, Lineker was quick to quash any talk of what they were and are like off the pitch and instead focused on on-field matters.
“I did meet Diego many times. He had an overwhelming personality; Leo is more shy. But, on the field, I never saw two such great stars.
“Sometimes people fall for me when I say that Messi is more than Cristiano.
“I also love Ronaldo. I respect him very much, he is a giant too, but my honest football opinion is that there is no comparison as to who is the best. Because of the things that Leo does.
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“That said, it even hurts me to compare them, because they are both gigantic.”
Both Messi and Ronaldo were the subject of high-profile transfers earlier this year.
Six-time Ballon D’or winner Messi now plies his trade for French giants Paris Saint-Germain, where he recently notched his first goal against Man City in the Champions League.
Ronaldo’s switch generated just as much fanfare, the Portuguese icon making a triumphant return to the club where he made his name after 12 years away from Old Trafford.