The Cristiano Ronaldo v Lionel Messi debate has dominated the football landscape for many years, but very few have in-depth knowledge of both players.
The duo made their way to the top of the “greatest ever” conversation and no matter who you are, everyone has a preference.
Some marvel at Ronaldo’s athletic determination, while others are drawn to Messi’s divine magic with the ball at his feet.
Messi has a record of six Ballon d’Or titles against five for Ronaldo. But the Portuguese has five Champions League crowns compared to Messi’s four.
Even with Messi’s recent transfer to PSG, there is still a limited talent pool to have worked with the two stars, often limited to Argentina internationals such as Angel Di Maria and Gonzalo Higuain.
The list of managers to work with the two is non-existent, but that could change soon.
TalkSPORT sources understand Mauricio Pocettino is Sir Alex Ferguson’s best candidate to replace Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Manchester United, and the former Spurs boss is said to be keen on the move.
A sensational Premier League return for Pochettino would see him swap Messi’s management to become Ronaldo’s new boss at Manchester.
Ronaldo has reportedly been ‘flabbergasted’ by Solskjaer’s management since returning to Old Trafford this summer.
And while he may be happy to see the Norwegian’s back, he might not be happy with his potential replacement.
Pochettino was asked to compare the two modern greats and didn’t mince words when he gave his support to his compatriot in 2015.
“Messi is that type of player, for me the best in the world today, better than Cristiano Ronaldo and he can decide a game,” he said.
“[Diego] Maradona, for my generation, is still a very special player. When I was a child, Maradona was like a god.
“It’s hard in your mind to change your mind and say that Messi is better or Ronaldo is better, but right now Messi is the best in the world.
“And if I didn’t coach Messi, I would still say Messi. I respond with my heart. I always say how I feel.
“On the podium with him, it would be necessary [Robert] Lewandowski and Cristiano.
Pochettino has doubled his support for Messi since joining PSG by saying after Messi scored his first goal for the club: “He’s the best player in the world, there’s no doubt about it.”
It could be a slightly painful hearing for Ronaldo, who is no doubt measuring himself against the Argentine in his quest to become the best football player of all time.
However, it’s not all bad news, with Pochettino being incredibly complimentary about Ronaldo ahead of his Tottenham side facing Real Madrid in 2017.
“It’s a phenomenon,” Pochettino said. “He received the ‘The Best’ award [FIFA award] and the truth is he deserves it.
“In addition to his professional qualities, he is an example.
“He never tires of repeating that the secret is to work hard, to strive, to take care of himself. Every player should apply it.
United fans are desperately hoping that Pchettino won’t have to rely on Ronaldo’s professionalism as much as Solskjaer does, if he performs at Old Trafford.
But just as important could be Ronaldo’s willingness to leave the past behind, after discovering that his potential new coach had dealt him the brunt of his ego.
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