Having locked horns in the wide world debate for the best part of 10 years, it’s clear that the final decision for who genuinely is the greatest ever between Messi and Ronaldo will rumble on until the end of time.
Whilst many would pain to compare such prime specimens, one former Manchester United pundit believes that one will have the edge in the longevity stakes.
Speaking on SkySports, Gary Neville backed his former teammate Ronaldo to outlast Messi despite being nearly fours years senior. Noting the multi Champions League winners adaptability at playing a central poacher, he comments;
‘I wonder if he’s building up for a long career as a centre-forward, where his running doesn’t have to be 11km, 12km per match, it can be 7km, 8km, 9km, where he can still score two goals and live off moments,’
‘He’s living off moments more than his all-around performance now.
‘When he was at United, between 2006 and 2008, I still maintain that’s his best two football years as a football player, in terms of his contribution to the whole game.
‘Since he’s gone to Real Madrid he’s contributed enormously to everything they’ve done but he’s living more off moments rather than a contribution through a whole 90 minutes.
‘He’ll be thinking Pele. Those numbers. Those scandalous numbers you think you can never achieve, the appearances, the goals, and that to me is where it’s going.
Despite the former United man grabbing a 100th Champions League goal during a 4-2 Bayern Munich demolition this week, the Portugal captain had to endure whistling throughout from Real Madrid supporters. Indeed, Ronaldo has had his critics in the media as well with his powerful position in the side queried in light of questionable form.
Saying that the forward has undeniably come good in the business end of the season.
Speaking on Ronaldo’s superb penalty box instincts, Neville concludes;
‘I think he’ll play for longer than Lionel Messi, I think he’ll score more goals in the end and will go on to do incredible things.
‘I think he’ll go on for a long, long time. And in this game, he’s becoming a goal-scorer, he’s getting in the box more, he’s coming across the near post, his heading is incredible anyway.