Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. PHOTO/ALEX GALLARDOY
Former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba has revealed two players who are better than Lionel Messi.
The Barcelona star has won the Ballon d’Or five times, Champions League four times and boasts of eight Spanish La Liga titles, but has failed to lift the coveted World Cup diadem.
Argentina was on the verge of winning the World Cup in Brazil but lost out to Germany in the final.
Though the former Cote d’Ivoire international admitted that the 30-year-old is ‘an extraordinary player,’ he is, however, of the opinion that the Barcelona star is still not at the height of Brazil’s legend Pele and Argentina’s Diego Maradona.
“Messi could stop now and he would already have done a lot for football,” Drogba told AFP.
“To win a World Cup would make him even more legendary. He’s an extraordinary player!
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“He’s still not at the heights of Maradona and Pele, but he’s not far away.”
And legendary Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon has described Messi as a ‘more complete’ player, but described Ronaldo as a ‘killer in the penalty area’ and praised him for adapting his style of play as he has gotten older.
The 40-year-old Buffon was speaking to reporters in a pre-match press conference against Argentina at Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium.
It is a debate which has been ongoing for a long time, with both players considered to be two of the best in history.
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have each won the Ballon d’Or on five occasions, and there has been a fierce professional rivalry between the two players that has continued for several years.
Pele: The greatest football player in history. PHOTO/PINTEREST
“They are two completely different players,” veteran goalkeeper Buffon told reporters on Thursday.
“Messi is more complete, because he starts deeper, has more technical quality and a vision of the game that is worthy more of a trequartista than a finisher.
“Cristiano Ronaldo, perhaps because he is a little older, has become a killer in the penalty area. Compared to how he was before, Ronaldo preserves his energy more, so he no longer goes out to the flank for a nutmeg or trick shot, but with one ball into the box he can create a goal.”
Buffon is preparing to face Messi’s Argentina in Manchester on Friday, and is facing a tough test against Messi. Argentina manager Jorge Sampaoli recently said that Messi now has the responsibility of carrying the Argentina national team on his shoulders as they enter the 2018 World Cup.
Football wizard: Diego Maradona. PHOTO/GETTY IMAGES
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