Cesar Luis Menotti, former Argentina manager has added his voice to the ongoing debate on who is the best player between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi as he branded the Portuguese a ‘hero’ and named his fellow countryman a ‘magician.’
Both players have shared the FIFA Ballon D’Or award since 2008 and are again expected to be in the forefront when the final three nominees are announced for this year.
Ronaldo had an outstanding year, as he again scored 50 plus goals for record sixth consecutive seasons en route helping Real Madrid to a UEFA Champions League triumph and a first major championship win with Portugal while Messi helped Barcelona win the Spanish La Liga and reached the Copa America final with Argentina.
“Messi would not have been the same at Real Madrid,” Menotti who guided Argentina to their first World Cup triumph in 1978 told Fox Sports. “He started at Barcelona with [Andres] Iniesta, Xavi, Ronaldinho. A team that Cristiano Ronaldo never had.
“Cristiano always worked like a hero. He’s a massive player, and maybe a great guy. But he works like a hero and he gets 50 goals.
“Messi has grown an enormous amount from the first day until now. He went from being a clinical striker to a more creative game, where he has another role.”
He added: “There are good players, very good players, and then the magicians, who you have to leave to one side – like Messi, Pele and [Diego] Maradona.
“Messi is a player who wants to win everything, wherever he plays. What you have to do is be careful that he doesn’t overdo being the best every 10 minutes.”
Ronaldo will be involved in the Champions League tonight when Real Madrid face Borussia Dortmund but Messi is currently sidelined through injury and will miss Barcelona’s tie against Borussia Monchengladbach.