The ‘greatest of all time’ debate between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo rages on but they’ve got nothing on the ‘original’ Ronaldo.
An all time great who won two World Cups, two Copa Americas, two LaLiga titles and scored 295 goals in 452 games, ‘R9’ is ahead of Messi and his namesake.
“I cannot believe he never, ever gets mentioned when you’re talking about the greatest players that have played football,” former Manchester City and Leeds player Danny Mills told talkSPORT.
Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville had a heated debate over whether Messi or Man United’s Ronaldo are the greatest ever as they prepare to grace the Champions League again, but Mills thinks it’s too easy to forget how good the retired striker is.
“His career was cut short by injury but when you look at his goal record, and I know [talkSPORT co-presenter Ally McCoist] talked about Diego Maradona earlier, but Ronaldo used to get booted left, right and centre, all over the place.
“He scored goals at Barcelona, Real Madrid, Inter Milan, [won] two golden boots, two World Cups.
“He was a sensational player, absolutely magnificent!”
While he believes the Ronaldo should be in the conversation for the greatest player of all time, Mills also weighed in on the Messi vs Ronaldo debate.
“The numbers between the pair of them are exceptional,” he added.
“I have seen other players score the sort of goals that Ronaldo has scored. Whether that be Harry Kane, [Kylian] Mbappe or [Robert] Lewandowski.
“There are so many goals that I have never, ever seen other players be able to score that Messi has done.
“That’s the difference.
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“In terms of out and out ability, I think Messi is the ultimate footballer. Ronaldo’s numbers are arguably slightly better, especially in big games.
“But for sheer out and out ability and to do things no one else can do, Messi is still the greatest [of the two] for me.”
As time on their careers come to an end, whilst there will never be an agreement of who is better, it is time to just enjoy these two mercurial talents while they are still playing.
Ronaldo has already begun this season on fire, scoring twice on his second debut for Manchester United, whilst the world awaits for Messi to get a real chance to link up with Mbappe and Neymar for PSG this season, having made just one substitute appearance so far.
Portugal’s captain will also hope for a perfect start to the Red Devils’ first Champions League game as they take on Young Boys, a game you can listen to live on talkSPORT 2.