*Note: I have to make this website because some fanboys are hopelessly furious. They deleted all the following information from Wikipedia's Messi-CR7 rivalry page. Meanwhile, I believe the following information is relavant to the debate so why not collectively publish it apart from just statistics? Why hide it from that rivalry page?
THIS SITE IS NO LONGER UPDATED AS I MOVED TO THE NEW SITE:
Football legends/experts have their says
2012: I am more worried about being a good person than being the best football player in the world. When all this is over, what are you left with? When I retire, I hope I am remembered for being a decent guy. I like to score goals but I also like to have friends among the people I have played with.
2018: I don't compete with Cristiano. It's not an objective to be the best in history. The fact that these things are spoken of about me, well, that's that. I never set out to be the best, second best, third or fourth. I compete to improve myself year after year, to surpass what I have done before. The more trophies I've won at the end of the season, the better, and obviously with the national team, which is something I still don't have.
2018: I don't consider myself the best, I think I am just another player. On the field, we are all the same when the game begins.
Some youtube videos about Messi: Why Messi is Alien, 2018, Messi top 100 goals: 2004-2018, Lionel Messi - Ray Hudson Edition, 2018, Lionel Messi - A God Amongst Men HD, 2016, Why is Messi The Greatest Ever !?, How defenders stop Messi
2012: I am better than Messi at the moment
2015: In my mind I am always the best. I don't care what people are thinking. In my mind I am always the best, not this year, every year. In my mind I am better than Messi.
2015 (said when he won 4th Golden Shoe which doubled Messi's number . Also, in 2015, Messi won his 5th Golden Ball while CR7 had only 3): I really love this award [European Golden Shoe]. It is the best award out there for me. Others can pick you as the best player, but an attacker's job is to make goals and I love that.
2017: (said when he won 5th Golden Ball which equals Messi ) People have the right to prefer Neymar or Messi. But I insist: There is no one more complete than me. You will go and say that I have a big head, but when you're at the top, it's normal that you're criticised. ... I am the best player in history, in both good and bad times.
2017: I'm the best player in the history of football, I don't see anyone who is better than me, no player has achieved things that I have not done myself and I have done many things that others cannot do. There is not a more complete player than me.
2018: I always believe and say that I am the best, whatever they say, and then I show it in the field. We are in the fight year after year
Some youtube videos about CR7: CR7 is the best, 2017 , Cristiano Ronaldo's most epic shows, 2017, CR7's best performance, 2018, What defines the power of CR7?, 2018, CR7 is the King of Football in this aspect, 2014
Who is the King of El Clasico - Messi and CR7 head-to-head match statistics.
*Some comments on La Liga vs Champion league
- Zidane, said this when he was coach of Real Madrid:
2018: It's more difficult. I've always said that: it's more difficult [to win La Liga than the Champion League]
- Julen Lopetegui, coach of RM from July 2018:
2018: The League is the competition that tells you how good a team really is.
Football commentators in the matches between Messi and CR7
- Comments on Messi's goals in all matches vs Real Madrid, before and after CR7 join Real Madrid, 2005-2018: Watch here and More
Some comments in the matches between Messi and CR7:
2011 - Wonderful wonderful. How good is he. He is just briliant, best player in the world.
2017 - He [Messi] is the best, the best there is, the best that ever has been and possibly the best that ever will be.
2018 - Lionel Messi, and again, again, and again, the greatest player in the history of world football.
- Comments on CR7's goals in all matches vs Barcelona since CR7 joined RM, 2010-2017: Watch here
Sorry, I could not find any comments saying that he[CR7] is the best :(.
CR7's (ex-)teammates, (ex-)coaches
- Florentino Pérez, President of Real Madrid
2018: He [CR7] is the best ever [at Real Madrid] after [Alfredo] Di Stefano and this will always be his home.
[So CR7 is not even the best at Real Madrid]
- Massimiliano Allegri, Italian, Juventus manager
2017 (said this when CR7 was at Real Madrid): Cristiano? For me Messi and Neymar are the two best players in the world.
2018 (said this to welcome CR7 to join Juventus in Jul 2018): I think in the last two years, Ronaldo is the best striker in the world.
2018: It’s going to be a pleasure to coach Ronaldo. He is the best player in the world together with Messi.
- José Mourinho, Portuguese, ex-coach of CR7 at Real Madrid
2008 (said this when he was not CR7 coach): Ronaldo is a good player but he's certainly not the best. He deserved the Ballon d'Or because his team won the Champions League and Premier League, he played and he scored. But for me, Ibrahimovic is better. When I think about how a player should be what comes to mind is players like Kaka, Ibrahimovic and Lionel Messi, who is a phenomenon and in two or three years will win the Ballon d'Or.
2012 (said when he was Real Madrid manager and of course CR7 coach): If Lionel Messi is the best on the planet, Cristiano Ronaldo is the best in the universe.
2016 (said this when he no longer coached CR7): For me the top three players in history are Messi, Pele and Maradona.
2016: In 5 years time Messi will be 34, and we will all be crying.
2018: Ronaldo Nazario [Brazilian Ronaldo R9], the best Ronaldo ever! I never saw the same, I never saw the same.
- Carlos Queiroz , Portuguese, ex-coach of CR7 at Portugal national team and MU
2018: Messi shouldn’t be allowed to play by FIFA until it’s proven that he’s actually human.
2018: Cristiano Ronaldo is the best player in the world but Messi is an extraordinary player, he's out of this world.
- Giorgio Chiellini, Italian, CR7 teammate at Juventus since July 2018
2016: Knowing your opponent is fundamental. Because then you can know their characteristics better. With Cristiano Ronaldo you mark him trying to not let him inside on the right. With Messi… you cross yourself and pray!
2017: [What’s it like to defend against Lionel Messi? ] When you try to anticipate his moves you’re dead. Because he reads things so fast that you can’t touch him. The only way is to limit him is with teamwork. Even the best defender in the world, if he thinks he handle it, he has no hope against Messi.
- Gareth Bale, CR7 teammate at Real Madrid
2013 [said this when he joined Real madrid]: Cristiano Ronaldo is for me the best player in the world.
2018 [comment on CR7 leaving Real madrid]: Obviously, it's going to be a little different from having such a big player there. It's maybe a bit more relaxed, yes. I suppose there is more of a team, more working as one unit rather than one player.
- Dani Carvajal, Spanish, CR7 teammate at Real Madrid
2015 (said this when CR7 was at Real Madrid): Everyone who plays football knows that it isn't easy to score five goals. This is the best league in the world and Cristiano again proved he is the best player in the world.
2018: (said this when CR7 moved to Juventus, no longer Carvajal teammate): I think Messi and Cristiano are hardy comparable. They are two of the best players in history but they are very different. Messi is a player who generate more football, he has better vision for a pass. The ball is always stuck to his feet and he always finds space. Cristiano is a player who focuses on getting into the area and scoring. He is an annihilator. They are different, but at the same time so good.
- Iker Casillas, Spanish, CR7 teammate at Real Madrid
2010: Barcelona's Lionel Messi Is The World's Best Player.
2015: [Best striker you have ever faced?] Lionel Messi. It has always been Messi.
2017: Regardless of whether you love Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi, there's no doubt that competing with a player such as Lionel Messi isn't easy. Cristiano Ronaldo is very different to Messi but, with strength and courage, he's also a world-class player. The thing, when you face Lionel Messi, is to stay organised. He's a very fast player, a livewire. In addition to scoring a lot of goals, he also provides a lot of assists. With Messi, you have to stay focused for the whole game, from the first to the 90th minute. See more
- Guti, Spanish, CR7 teammate at Real Madrid
2013: I hate to say it but Messi is the best.
2017: [Guti asked Messi to swap shirts twice when he player at Nou Camp and when he played at Santiago Bernabeu. In both matches. CR7's ex-teammate seems to adore Messi too much.]
- Paul Scholes, English, CR7 teammate at MU
2015: I think about the great players with whom I have shared a pitch: Eric Cantona, Zinedine Zidane, Pirlo, Xavi, Cristiano Ronaldo – and the greatest of them all is Messi.
- Danilo, Brazilian, CR7 teammate at Real Madrid
2017: Messi is a top player. Of course I would play with him, he is the best.
2017: [Talk about his teammates' talents] I always tell my friends there are three players I've seen do otherworldly things in training: Neymar, Isco and Marcelo. When asked about how Ronaldo fit in with those three, Danilo replied: "Oh... Cristiano is a player that wants to score goals, he's a numbers, results guy, it's a little bit different."
- James Rodríguez, Colombian, CR7 teammate at Real Madrid
2014: Cristiano is the best player in the world for me. He's a goalscoring machine and a true superstar. What stands out most, however, is that he is a great person as well.
2015: Messi is in ANOTHER WORLD. He is a unique player, and you cannot talk about a James versus Messi duel, because that would be unfair to him.
- Raúl (footballer), CR7 teammate at MU
2015: I was lucky enough to play with Zidane, Ronaldo, Figo, Cristiano... but Messi is different; he makes everything look so easy, so effortless – even the impossible.
- Wayne Rooney, English, CR7 teammate at MU
2012: Messi or C.Ronaldo? - Messi. In my eyes, Messi is the best ever.
2014: "Which current footballer do you most like watching?" Without any hesitation, Rooney responded by saying: "Lionel Messi, because I think he's the best. He's incredible."
2018: [who's the better player between Ronaldo and Messi?] "Messi. I think I've said this before". Messi is, in my eyes, the greatest ever.
- Ryan Giggs, Spanish, CR7 teammate at MU
2017: Well obviously I played with Cristiano so I'm going to go with Cristiano. But they're both two great players. We're living in an era where you're seeing true legends at their bext going head-to-head each season.
2018: He [CR7] is obsessed at being better than Messi. I did it in England, I did it in Spain, I'm going to do it in Italy. I did it with Portugal. So maybe that will be his argument when [he thinks about] 'Am I better than Messi'?
2018: [on CR7 winning best goal of the season by UEFA] Gareth Bale’s goal wasn’t one of the best goals of last season, it was the best. I can’t actually believe they bothered to nominate any others, it was the winner, it’s as simple as that. [CR7's goal was not the best!]
- Rio Ferdinand, English, CR7 teammate at MU
2015: [CR7 or Messi?] - It is too hard....I mean.... I played with Ronaldo so I always favor him.
2015: Ronaldo is like a driven, well-oiled machine, who has made himself that superstar. Messi seems like he's more natural. Its just been given to him. Someone looked down and said 'You're the man'. And he went out there and did it, and he's just a beautiful footballer. There's two different players, but the respect for both of them is huge.
2018: Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are the best players. But the difference between both of them is that Cristiano goes out there and his mindset is ‘give me the ball in the areas I can score a goal’. He’s a goalscorer. He’s not bothered about being on the halfway line and getting into the rhythm of the game, he wants to be at the cutting, knife-edge of the game. Messi, you sometimes see him in the defensive midfield position. Picking up the ball, playing one-twos. Just playing with the opposition, he’s biding his time. He’s involved in the rhythm of the game constantly and that’s the difference. And then the guy’s a magician. The size of him, he shouldn’t be doing what he’s doing really. If you are going to build a player to come out of a machine you’re not going to throw Messi out there. When you play against him he doesn’t allow you to get near him and touch him. I played in two Champions League finals against him and I don’t think I got a finger on him. I don’t think Vidic did either. When you get near him he plays one touch.
2018: I feel blessed that I was in this stadium to watch him [Messi]. I'll tell my kids about him tomorrow on the school run. This guy, what he does on a football pitch is just ridiculous. It’s like he’s got a remote control in his hand, assesses the situation, and says ‘yeah, right, let me just plot the location and I’ll put the ball exactly where I want to put it, on a sixpence. His weight of pass, his decision making is unrivalled. When he gets in to finish, he’s as cool as you like.
- Jaime Seoane, Real Madrid Castilla central midfielder
2018: Although I'm in Real Madrid, Messi is the best, he does things I can not explain in the words.
- Fabio Capello - Italian, former manager of Real Madrid - but not ex-coach of CR7
2005: In my entire life I have never seen a player of such quality and personality at such a young age, particularly wearing the 'heavy' shirt of one of the world's great clubs.—Fabio Capello praises the 18-year-old Messi following the Joan Gamper trophy in August 2005.
2014: Cristiano is a powerful player, with very good technique, but he does not possess the pure technical skill of Messi. ...I could see that he [Messi] could do things that didn't occur to other players.
2016: Cristiano Ronaldo is a great goal scorer but he doesn't have the brilliance of Lionel Messi. Messi at the age of 17 or 18 was a genius, Cristiano was a good player who improved through hard work and effort and has become an excellent forward. The Real Madrid No. 7 is not just a great player but an excellent one however he doesn't have that ability to mesmerize or pull off moves that are unimaginable [like Messi]. That for me is the difference.
CR7 is my favourite for the year (Ballon D'or 2016). He was instrumental in Portugal winning Euro 2016 and Madrid winning the Champions League ... He'd be the worthy winner. However when we talk about genius players then that's a totally different debate.
2017: It’s amazing to be able to see what he (Messi) does. He threw the team behind him because he’s a genius. All the rest are great players. Ronaldo’s a goal scorer, really good in the area, but [in the Clasico] a genius [Messi] got a positive result for his side. In the Clasico I saw Messi do things that I have never seen before.
- Julen Lopetegui, Spanish, coach of RM from 2018, not coach of CR7 as he moves to Juventus this year
2016: I’ve never met a player like Leo Messi. I don’t like to compare eras. I’ve never seen and nor do I think I will ever see someone with Messi’s consistency.
2017: Messi is the best player in history.
2018: It's extremely unlikely that we'll see another player like him [Messi]. He's made the difference in so many ways over a continuous period of time and it's a joy to watch him play.
2018: CR7 comment on the move to Juventus "Juventus is one of the best teams in the world. It was a long-time decision I made. An easy decision for the size of the club and a very important step for my career.” => Then a Real Madrid fan @AlanazoRM tweeted: “This is how he pays us back after we had to lie for 9 years saying he was better than Messi.”
2018: "Rio Ferdinand would tell us stories about how Cristiano Ronaldo would stand in front of the mirror naked, running his hand through his hair, and say, 'Wow. I'm so beautiful!'," Crouch said in his new book, as per the Daily Mail . "The other United players would try to wind him up. 'Whatever. Leo Messi is a better player than you.' "And he would shrug his shoulders and smile again. 'Ah yes. But Messi does not look like this...'"
- Sergio Ramos, CR7 teammate at Real Madrid for 9 years
2018: [comments on top 3 of FIFA Best award this year: CR7, Modric and Salah]: Maybe there are players with more marketing, with a bigger name but Modric deserves that award.
2018: Messi is the Lord and Master of Wembley
2018: Messi has changed the history of Barcelona...In the eyes of the majority, he is the best player of the last decade, and maybe of history. He became a great passer; he invented the false nine; he has become excellent at free kicks and now he is a great captain, he really has it all.
2013: Messi is the best in the world.
(Ex-)teammates of both Messi and CR7
- Gerard Piqué, Spanish, MU and Barcelona
2016: Ronaldo Is The Best Of The Humans But Messi Isn't Human
- Henrik Larsson, Swedish, MU and Barcelona
2018: It’s just a pleasure as Rio was saying to be here tonight and witness it [Messi magic] live . It was fantastic.
2013: Cristiano is unlucky to be playing at the same time as Messi. Ronaldo is a very good player, but Messi is even better. He is from out of this world. He's so good that it's almost incredible. When you see him with the ball at his feet it's hard to believe that anybody else could do the same. He's a fantastic player to see.
- Javier Saviola, Argentine, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Argentina national team
2016: I love how Messi plays football. If I had to choose a favourite player, I would definitely choose him. Cristiano Ronaldo is a machine, physically powerful. Messi is more skilful and he brings more of a spectacle when he comes onto the pitch.
- Ángel Di María, Argentine, Real Madrid and Argentina national team
2018: Cristiano is an excellent player. Being around at the same time as Messi has made it much more difficult for him. There are no words to describe Leo. He will always surprise you. One year on and Messi is the best, another year goes by and he's still the best; he's a player from another planet – an extraterrestrial.
2018: Messi is always the best, he’s the best every year. Cristiano Ronaldo’s a special player, but Messi’s from another planet. There are no words to describe Messi, he always surprises you.
- Carlos Tevez, Argentine, MU and Argentina national team
2018: Cristiano is totally different to Messi. When Leo was starting out, he didn't touch a gym. But Cristiano was there in the morning, afternoon and evening, all the time. Cristiano had to work and prepare himself to be the best, while, for Leo, it comes naturally. Those are the greatest differences that I see between the two best players on the planet. Asked to pick who he feels is the better player between them, Tevez chose the FC Barcelona man. Messi plays another sport. For Messi to score three goals (in any given game) is normal.
- Ezequiel Garay, Argentine, Real Madrid and Argentina national team
2011: Asked who he rated as superior [CR7 or Messi], Garay said: "When people ask me who is the best player ever, I say Leo. From the first time I saw him with Argentina U-15 to this day he continues to amaze me. He has no limit.
- Gabriel Heinze, Argentine, Real Madrid and Argentina national team
2017: Cristiano Ronaldo has drive and enviable self-discipline. He's an obsessive. As long as he has not reached the goal he has put in his head, he does not stop trying. However, Leo is inexplicable. Footballistically, he does not come from this planet. And as a person, he leads such a quiet life that is admirable.
- Fernando Gago, Argentine, Real Madrid and Argentina national team
2008: For me he [CR7] is not number one. For me, the best in the world is Messi because of the way he plays, moves with the ball and changes matches. Messi has incredible ability and I love the way that he plays.
- Gonzalo Higuaín, Argentine, Real Madrid and Argentina national team
2015: He [CR7] has a lot of ego. If you don't say he's the best, he's not your friend. Cristiano thinks he's the best but he's over-rated. I've shared a dressing room with Messi and one is nothing like the other.
2017: [the Bianconeri striker was asked who he preferred playing with between Messi and Ronaldo, Marca] It's not difficult, it's easy to answer. They are both beasts and have each developed their own qualities and characteristics, so play with the one that makes you feel better in your own game.
Other football legends/experts have their says
2012: I like Messi a lot, he’s a great player. Technically, we’re practically at the same level.
2014: In the last two years, Messi has problems, gets injuries and played few games. Ronaldo is the best at the moment no doubt. [Which one do you want for your team?] Messi does the same things that I used to do so I have to compete with Messi if he is in my team so I choose Ronaldo.
2017: Cr7 is excellent scorer...To me, in the last 15 years no doubt Messi is the best player.
2018: I would still stay with Messi. Scoring is important, no doubt, but if you do not have anyone to prepare, then the ball is not enough. For my team I prefer Messi. Ronaldo's a great goalscorer but in terms of the complete player, there's no doubt that Messi is the best.
- Diego Maradona, Argentine retired professional footballer
2017: I prefer Messi to Cristiano Ronaldo but I acknowledge that the latter is an animal. He's incredible. Football history will remember Messi. Football has given him a lot, as much as he has given the sport and to win a World Cup, in my opinion, wouldn't bring himself anything else.
- Johan Cruyff (died in 2016), Dutch professional football player and coach
2012: For the world of football, he[Messi] is a treasure because he is role model for children around the world, In the space of half a metre, he can move right or left - it is like he has the ball attached to his body. Maradona was also a little bit like this in his time, and it could be because they are both low centre of gravity.
2015: I've always liked smaller, more technically gifted players because I was one. Cristiano is a great player but he's a goalscorer. He'll never be that creative player you build a team around, the one in charge of how a team plays. His job is the end product, the goal. On the other hand, Messi is much more of a team player: he passes the ball, notches up no end of assists... In my opinion, there is a huge difference between a great player and a goalscorer. [To conclude, Cruyff made it very clear who his favourite for the Ballon d'Or is.] "There's no discussion, nobody is on the same level as Messi. I'd give it to him again".
20??: I look at Messi, and he makes me laugh. A beautiful footballer who is still like a kid. A world superstar, but still a kid. Innocent, you know. He just plays.
- Gianluigi Buffon, Italian, ex-Juventus player
2018: They are two completely different players. 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.
2015: Messi is an alien, that dedicates himself to playing with humans.
2015: Buffon's dream team includes Messi and Brazilian Ronaldo but no spot for CR7.
- Pirlo, Italian, ex Milan and Juventus player
2018: Leo Messi is the best player I've ever faced in my career.
- Manuel Almunia, Spainish, Arsenal goalkeeper
2010: He [Messi] is the best player in the world.
2017: He [Messi] is the best I've ever faced.
- Pepe Mel, Spanish football manager
2016: Ronaldo is the best striker I have seen – that nobody can dispute. He has outstanding aerial ability, hits the ball with both feet, and is powerful. But Messi is the best footballer. We'd all like to be Messi. He has an incredible gift to combine all the best virtues of a player into himself.
- Antonio Conte, Italian, ex-Juventus player
2018: Messi is the best in the world.
2018: [On Messi]: This type of player is born [once] in 50 years. We are talking about one single player with this capacity, with this ability, with these skills. We are talking about a player who can move the final result for every team, for any team he is playing in.
- Edgar Davids, Dutch, ex-Juventus player
2015: Messi is just an anomaly: he can dribble, he can score, he can pass, he has the vision, he understands the game. Ronaldo is just an athlete. He works so hard and back to back, he is always there. But if you work hard, can you be like Messi? No, that's impossible. Can you be like Ronaldo? Yes, to a certain extent.
- Pavel Nedvěd, Czech, ex-Juventus player
2017: Dybala will become the greatest of the ‘humans’ – because Leo Messi is an alien.
2016: Higuain is the best striker in the world.
- Gennaro Gattuso, Former AC Milan player
2013: Is Messi the best ever? Yes, and I hate to say that for Cristiano Ronaldo, who is also an incredible player. But Messi is from another planet. A player who scores 90 goals in a year cannot be real. He is from the PlayStation. And when I see Messi he seems to play with the other players. He is faster, has more class and scores when he wants to.
- Bastian Schweinsteiger, German professional footballer
2014: No matter what people say about Leo Messi, good football lovers know that Messi still and will remain the best.
- Arsène Wenger, English manager
2010: He [Messi] is like PlayStation.
2012: Lionel Messi Is The Greatest Footballer Of All Time.
2015: Messi is the best player in the world by a distance.
2017: If you love football, you love to watch Messi.
2018: Messi is the most perfect player but he has weaknesses.
- Miguel Ángel Lotina, Spanish manger
2016: Comparing CR7 to Messi is an exercise of ignorance in football. Messi is Messi and others, footballers .
- Rivaldo, Brazilian footballer
2017: I would like to play with Messi, he is the best of the world, the one who makes more differences. Ronaldo? He is the most dangerous player at Real [Madrid].
2013: I do think Messi is better than Cristiano Ronaldo.
2015: [Does Messi deserve to be the greatest player in the world?] -Messi? For sure.
2018: With his incredible attitude, with his incredible winning mentality, Cristiano Ronaldo is a unique player. But I admit that Lionel Messi adds even more magic to football. And with his dribbling, with his complete form of playing football, he [Messi] always generates surprise situations when attacking.
- Andriy Shevchenko, Ukrainian, ex-Milan player
2013: Both Iniesta and Cristiano are great but Leo Messi is incredible.
2016: His all-time greatest XI includes Messi and Brazilian Ronaldo, but no spot for CR7.
- Clarence Seedorf, Surinamese-born Dutch, ex-Real Madrid and Milan player
2011: Lionel Messi is the best player in the world. He plays at a very high level and he is a joy to watch for everybody. However, Cristiano Ronaldo is not far behind him. He has already done a lot for Real Madrid and is very important.
- Cafu, Brazilian, ex-Milan player
2016: To pick just one from the last 20 years is tough, but if we're talking about recent years I'd have to go with Messi.
- Fernando Torres, Spanish footballer
2017: What Cristiano Ronaldo has done in the time of Messi says a lot about him. I think that Messi is the best player in the world, although they are different players.
- Francesco Totti, Italian footballer
2017: Messi is number one, just don't tell Cristiano!
2018: Totti has declared that if Messi were to sign for them he'd personally drive to the airport to pick him up and hand him the iconic number 10 shirt. In fact, the former player confessed on various occasions how highly he values the Argentine. He even admitted that his son went crazy watching Messi in action.
- Steven Gerrard, English footballer, Liverpool
2015: If I was forced to pick one, I would probably go for Messi, but that's only because he's slightly more of a team player – he might just provide more assists or final passes, but it would be 51% to 49% in my mind.
2016: Messi is the best ever, the best there'll ever be!
2018: I think they're both operating on a different planet to every footballer that's ever lived, probably besides your Peles and your Maradonas. But Messi for me is more of a team player. If he's in on goal, he'll look for a pass, as well as obviously posting really, really good numbers individually as well. Ronaldo, for me, is more individual. He's hungry for goals, he's a little bit more selfish, whether that be in a good way or a bad way, and obviously the profile of the players is very different in terms of size. I go with Messi. I'm not selfish, I'm a team player.
- David Beckham, English footballer, MU, Real Madrid
2013: They [CR7 and Messi] have similarities in their technical skills and talent, and it is amazing for football to have them both present, but Messi is simply the best player in the world.
2018: Unfortunately, my sons like Lionel Messi more than me. And they're Argentina fans.
- Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Dutch footballer, ex-Real Madrid player.
2017: Ronaldo is good, but Messi is 10 times better.
- Roy Keane, Irish footballer, ex-MU player
2017: I was a big fan of Maradona growing up and of the current crop Ronaldo is good but Messi is the best I’ve ever seen. I don’t dish out praise lightly but Messi deserves it. I look for weaknesses in his game and I can’t find them.
2017: Ronaldo has made himself the best in the world. He has trained for it and has dedicated himself to this so he is a different type of player. Messi is all about the simplicity of playing football. He is a pure genius. Ronaldo's is a situation that he has imposed, but Messi's is not. The only bad thing about Ronaldo’s life is Messi. If it was not for him, Ronaldo would be the best player in the world for five years in a row.
2016: Messi or Cristiano? Cristiano Ronaldo is very good, but I prefer Messi. He’s incredible.
2015: Barcelona have a great team with one special player, Messi. He is able to unlock a game from out of nowhere. Cristiano Ronaldo has been putting in spectacular performances, but there really is no comparison with Messi.
2017: Messi simply cannot be stopped by yourself. Ronaldo is easier because he is more about athletic prowess. But Ronaldo has changed his game. He now focuses less on dribbling and more on the end product. That is more difficult to defend against because he has incredible timing. See more
2012: You cannot compare anyone to Messi. Cristiano Ronaldo is a great human player, but Messi is a Martian. He can run with the ball at an even higher speed than without the ball.
2015: I feel sad when the best player in the world is chosen, and I see, for example, that the Portuguese coach -- my friend Fernando Santos -- does not place Messi among the top three. It's absurd. As a Portuguese man, I will say that Ronaldo is the best in the world. Messi is from another planet.
2015: I have played against both Madrid and Barca, and you can’t compare Cristiano to Barca’s Messi. Messi alone is more dangerous than Ronaldo, Bale and Benzema put together.
2018: If I had to choose Messi or Ronaldo I would absolutely choose Messi, I have no doubt.
- John Terry, Chelsea legend
2012: My kids love him [Messi]. They both have Barcelona shirts with his name on the back and they like the fact I swapped shirts with him after one of our previous games. It's a pleasure because when you finish and you look back - and the guy's still going to be going strong - you've tested yourself against the best. And, quite clearly for me, he's the best ever. He's a great individual, a great person as well and a credit to the sport. For me, he's got everything. He is magical."
- Frank Lampard, Chelsea legend
2017: Ronaldo and Messi are the standouts, but I think Messi for his individual ability when he was (is) at the top. You couldn't get near him at his best. For me, he's the best of all time.
2018: He [Messi] is the most complete player for me in history and for sure for what I have seen live.
2015: Messi is better than Maradona....CR7 is a scorer but he does not fill you with joys....No comparison with Messi... Messi is on another planet... No comparison!
2017: Is it [2017 Ballon d’Or] for the best player or the best player of the most successful team? I love Ronaldo but Messi is a better footballer.
2018: You can make a case for Ronaldo’s goalscoring prowess as the numbers are similar, but when it comes to the best player there is absolutely no comparison. Messi is joyous.
2018: Absolute delight to finally get to meet the man I believe to be the greatest footballer of all time, and as it turns out Messi is also a complete gent.
2018: People talk about Ronaldo v Messi but the difference is there’s another player who can do anything Ronaldo does — with the exception of hanging in the air for five minutes to head the ball. Messi does three or four things in a game no one else can do. He scores as many as Ronaldo but he does everything else as well. He’s the best passer of the ball you’ll see and the best dribbler, certainly in the modern era.
2018: No one that understands the game, no. Barcelona won the double largely thanks to Messi. He scored a goal a game and his football is truly joyous. Knockout football is always precarious. Then again if it were truly just for the best footballer, he’d win it every year. [Gary's comment on the fact that Messi was not in the Top 3 FIFA best nominees]
2018: Messi is the best dribbler I've ever seen, the most imaginative footballer I've ever seen, the most skillful footballer I've ever seen, and one of the best passers the game has ever seen. So if you put all those things together, you have someone who is clearly not human being. He does not play acts, he doesn't dive, he doesn't retaliate. There is so much to like about him.
2018: Messi is the best ever!
2017: Its not the statistics, it's not the statistics. You don't measure that by statistics, it's immeasurable. How do you measure someone that could balance a balloon in a wind tunnel on a needle? because Messi is capable of that.
2018: People think I am admirer of Messi. No, you are all wrong. I am an admirer of genius in football...The greatest footballer that I've ever seen in my life. A player in a jungle of world class players but today and yesterday stands alone on so many levels as in the jungle there is only one King - a Lion - a Lionel.
2018: Cloud technology could not store Messi's talent. Amazing, phenomenal
2018: Ray's comment on Messi subbed out of top 3 FIFA best award this year "When "La La Land" didn`t win the Oscar for Best Picture last year, I gave up on all types of awards....I should have learned from the 1982 movie "Ghandi" when it won the Oscar for Best Costume...lots of really nice sheets."
2018: Life can beat down the soul.....Messi reminds us that we have one
2018: Cristiano Ronaldo is sensational, a very good professional, an incredible goalscoring machine for many years, but Messi is the most complete player I have seen. He is a great team player. He's provided 30 to 40 assists for the last 10 years as well as scoring around 50 goals [per season]. He's capable of leaving eight or nine players in his path and his goals always stay in your memory.
2017: [Who is your favorite player in the world today?] [Lionel] Messi for sure. Because he’s unique. He does things with balls that no one else can do. And I love seeing him play. And also [Cristiano] Ronaldo is a great player. But Messi is something special.
2018: Between Messi and Cristiano I always choose Leo. The Argentine haggles, he creates, he has a style that I like a lot. If I had to choose, I would never have any doubt. He’s a player who achieves things that are hard to imagine.
- Shkodran Mustafi, German professional footballer, Arsenal player
2018: When he runs towards three opponents you can nearly be sure that he [Messi] breaks through. Ronaldo is more of a striker in the box. Messi can also play good passes and make his team mates stronger. For me, he [Messi] is the best player in the world.
- Alan Shearer, English retired footballer
2018: Messi is an artist, Ronaldo is a machine.
- Paul Pogba, French, MU player
2018: It's been more than ten years since he [Messi] became the best player in the world. He’s unique, he’s a unique size, what he does with the ball in unique, he’s a pure left-footer. He’ll always be an idol.
- Marcus Rashford, MU player
2018: I'm a big fan of C.Ronaldo as well, but I think Messi is the greatest ever. Some of the stuff that he [Messi] does is unbelievable.
2018: On the day CR7 moves to Juventus, AS Roma Football club post a on twitter emphasing that Messi is the GOAT - greateast of all time.
- Spanish Dictionary
2013: "inMESSIonante" word had been added to the Spanish Dictionary in honour of Messi. Which means:
1. Perfect way to play football, an unlimited capacity for self improvement.
2. Describes the best player of all time.
2018[ a message on tweeter regarding Messi's injury and absence ]: We regret your injury and can not face you in the next few days. It is always an honour to play against THE BEST.
- Zlatko Dalić, coach of Croatia national team
2018: The mental resilience necessary to come through such tests was the result of the emphasis on playing as a team, Dalic said, and indicated a wider trend at a World Cup where the likes of Neymar, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi all went home early. “For me, Messi is the best player in the world and Neymar is very close,” Dalic told a news conference.
2018: Ronaldo is selfish and I'd never want him in my team. He is the kind of player who thinks 'even if we lose, the only thing that matters is that I score a goal'.
- Antonio Cassano, ex-Real Madrid player
2013: Cassano named his son Lionel "in honour of the greatest player of all time, my idol [Lionel Messi]".
2018: I love Messi not as a counter-point to Cristiano, but because in my view he’s the best of all time and the emotions he gives me are unique. If I have to rationalise it or convince you, I ask you to find me someone else who handles the ball and scores so consistently as Messi.... I am with Messi, as he can make the difference even when standing still, he almost doesn’t need physical fitness.
- Lorenzo Insigne, Italian professional footballer
2018: Personally I prefer Messi for what he represents for football, but the talent of the Portuguese is not in question. If he’s won five Ballons d’Or it means something.
- Eden Hazard, Chelsea player
2018: Lionel Messi is the greatest ever.
- Lorenzo Insigne, Napoli player
2018: If Cristiano Ronaldo has won five golden balls, there will be a reason for that. His talents are not in question. But for what I mean in football, Messi is the best.
- Willian, Chelsea player
2017: Messi, Neymar or Ronaldo? The three of them are exceptional, they have a lot of quality and they have their differences. I like all three, but I think Messi will still be the best of the world a few more times. I know Cristiano Ronaldo is close to winning another one Ballon d'Or, but I really like Messi's style. I really like Neymar too, but I really like Messi.
2018: For me the best in the world is Messi, then Hazard.
2016: People probably try and get up tight against (Messi), even hurt him – that doesn't work, so then they back off and see what he's going to do, and that doesn't work, and then you're stuck 50-50 and he's free to do as he pleases. I think there is a very high standard out there, but I think Messi is the best player in the world. Cristiano Ronaldo is absolutely fantastic. What he's done throughout the years and, probably, in another generation, maybe he'd nick that title, but from personal experience, Messi's the best. It's more the way he just dominates the game. It's hard because every single team that plays against him will have a specific plan about Lionel Messi and every single game he scores two or three goals. So I think it's just the fact that he can adapt, and he changes for different situations.
2015: What a player he is. We talked like children [about Messi].
- Adriano Galliani, Italian entrepreneur and football executive,
2013: Messi is the best player of all time. He is even better than Diego Maradona and Pele.
- Javier Zanetti, Inter Milan legend
2014: Messi is the best player in the world.
2015: Messi and Brazilian Ronaldo are in Zanetti's dream team but not CR7.
- Franck Ribéry. Bayern player
2014: Ronaldo scores a lot of goals, but Messi is always the best player in the world, though he experienced some injuries this year.
2013: Messi is class. There is him, and then there is the rest. What he does is extraordinary. He demands admiration.
- Phil Thompson, Liverpool legend
2015: The more I see of Messi the more I’m convinced he’s the greatest of all time. He is a genius, what he does is like Leonardo Di Vinci. He’s everything you want to see in a player, the way he plays it with a smile on his face. I saw quite a bit of Pele and Maradona and it was difficult to split them but I’d go Messi, Pele, Maradona and then Ronaldo.
- Andrés Guardado, Real Betis, Mexico national football team.
2018: Messi is a benchmark in world football, for me he is the best in history and it will be a pride to tell my grandchildren that I lived in the time of Leo Messi. One of the best things football has given me, how could it be that I have 20 photos with Messi and I do not have the ball in any of them.
- Alessandro Del Piero, Italian/Juventus former professional footballer
2018: [give his opinions on CR7 signing for Juventus]: It’s a very important signing.. The Bianconeri were already very strong and now they’ll be even more so. He’ll be able to give Juventus an edge in Europe. [and give his opinion on Messi:] I would have paid just to spend one day training alongside him [Messi].
- Graham Hunter, LaLiga commentator, award-winning author and football journalist
2018: Lionel Messi remains the best footballer on the planet by a margin of immense distance for almost every reason. Not just for individual technical ability, but his performance, leadership, team play and ability to carry a team. The argument that can be given to him, and not by Cristiano Ronaldo, because Cristiano's high registers were incredible again and compensated for, you know, for a half year where it was impossible to recognise him.
- Thiago Silva, Brazilian, Milan, PSG player
2018: It's harder to defend againt Leo Messi than Cristiano Ronaldo. The little difference between them is that Messi, with the ball, one on one, or even against two, is difficult to stop.
2015: Messi is better than C.Ronaldo
2014: Stop Messi? I need a gun.
- Thiago Alcântara, Brazilian, Bayern player
2018: Only Lionel Messi makes me go: "Wow!"
- Franz Beckenbauer, German former professional footballer and manager
2012: Messi is a genius. He has everything. When I watch him, I see a player who is very, very, skilful, very clever – and his left foot is like Diego Maradona's. The difference is Messi is also like Bobby Charlton. He is a nice man, he's a gentleman. You will never hear him telling you bad things about this or that.
- Leo Franco, Argentine former professional goalkeeper, current manager of Spanish club SD Huesca.
2018: For me, he is the best player in the history of football. If you put people around Leo, he can get past one, two, three…
- Filipe Luís, Brazilian, Atletico Madrid player
2018: [on Messi exclusion from FIFA best top 3]: FIFA the Best awards is for the best player in the world. In my opinion, the best player in the world is Messi. Today, last year, 2 years ago and 3 years ago. From the moment that Messi does not win the award, with everything that he does, it loses some of its credibility. No matter if one player won the Champions League, if another played in the final. In my opinion, Messi is the best in the world. And he has been for several years. Ok Neymar wil be there one one day. Salah deserves to be at the top three, Cristiano deserves to be at the Top 3. But, to demonstrate his level in such a way in every single game he plays, I don't have any doubt that Messi is the best player in the world.
- Shaka Hislop, English retired goalkeeper, pundit.
2017: Messi is certainly better [than CR7] in this current generation and I don't think there's a whole lot that Ronaldo is gonna do that's gonna make me change that opinion.
- Steve Nicol, Scottish former footballer, pundit.
2017: Messi has been through the roof for a decade. He is the greatest of all time even if he does not win the World Cup.
2018: Messi is the best ever.
- Gabriele Marcotti, ESPN pundit.
2017: Messi without a World Cup does not rule him out of the greatest of all time debate.
- Mark van Bommel, Dutch, football coach and former player
2018: He [Messi] is still the best in the world, even if sometimes he doesn’t win the Ballon d’Or.
- John Aldridge, Irish football manager
2018: Pele, Maradona and Messi are the all-time greats.
- Niko Kovač, German football manager, Bayern Munich
2018: [Comment on Messi recent UEFA and FIFA awards nominations snubs] For me, Lionel Messi is the best. It used to be that way, and it will continue to be so in the future. Ronaldo is also a world-class player. His style impresses me. This is not innate, but trained.
- Kevin-Prince Boateng, German footballer
2018: He [CR7] always wants to be the best, the first in everything. So, for a player who is just starting, the one to look at should be him, because he is perfect. Ronaldo makes all of this happen in this world, but only in this world. In what transcends this world, the best is Messi, because he is incredible, he does things that nobody can do. I do not see him in this world. Ronaldo dominated this world and Messi is above everything else.
- Diego Forlán, Uruguayan footballer
2016: Ronaldo is good but Messi is the best.
- Alan Shearer, English retired footballer
2018: Messi the best ever. Goals. Skill. Work rate. Attitude. An artist.
- Mauricio Pochettino, Argentine football manager of Tottenham
2018: For me he’s [Messi] No. 1, he’s a gift for football and for the eyes.
2018: We didn’t lose to a team called FC Barcelona, we lost to a man called Lionel Messi. And there is no shame in losing to such a great man.
- Unai Emery, Spanish football manager of Asernal
2018: We all know that he is the best and that he could be ‘The Best’ every year.
- Craig Burley, Scottish former professional footballer
2018: I've never ever seen any player like him [Messi]. We can talk about some great players like Ronaldo but I have never ever seen anybody who can manipulate the ball with 3 or 4 players within a couple of yards around him and find the pass. It is just incredible.
2018: Messi is the best footballer that I've ever seen, the best ever.
- Harry Winks, English professional footballer, Tottenham
2018: Messi has completed football. To play against him [Messi] was an honour. The result takes away a lot of the enjoyment from the game, but in years to come, when I look back and say I played against — in my opinion — the greatest player to ever play football, it will be a proud moment.
- Érik Lamela, Argentine professional footballer, Tottenham
2018: Lionel Messi is incredible, he proves this in every game, not just here. He is the best player in the world and everyone knows that, regardless of what people may say and he was magnificent again in this game.
- Kieran Trippier, English professional footballer, Tottenham
2018: These are the games you want to be involved in, that you dream of playing in. He [Messi] was unbelievable. When he's in that form he's magic to watch.
2018: Messi is certainly the best ever!
2018: I have said this before, he [Messi] is the best player, not just I played against, he is the best I've ever seen, Messi is. ...He is the greastes of all time in my book.
- Steve Sidwell,English former professional footballer.
2018: Messi is the greatest player.
- Alejandro Moreno, former Venezuelan footballer, ESPN pundit.
2017: I prefer to watch Messi play. Without taking anything away from Ronaldo, there is a certain magic to what Messi does that I connect with more than Ronaldo’s power and explosiveness.
- Luis Suárez Miramontes, Spanish former footballer
2018: To say that this or the other is the best in history is very difficult. Same with the teams. Each one has to live his time. What I have very clear is that Messi is among the three or four that have been different, special. That's for sure. In his time Lionel Messi is more spectacular than the rest, he does more things than anyone else. Goals, dribble, passes ...
Cristiano, for example, is stronger and more powerful, but his is exclusively the goal, which is already a lot, by the way. But Messi has more, the goal and everything else. Messi only needs to be taller and more handsome (smiles).
Messi's (ex-)teammates, (ex-)coaches
2018: If I talk about Croatia [players], I would talk about Modric and [Ivan] Rakitic. But if I have to talk about the best in the world, the prize of the best player would be given to Leo Messi, who is one step above the rest.
2017: He [Messi] is the best player in history, he is incredibly decisive at all times and I have seen a lot of football, it is a great pleasure for all Cules that he is one of us.
2016: [Messi or Ronaldo?] Messi can play in any position he wants. He's just different. It's ridiculous that they're comparing awards, golden melons, whatever it is that they want to compare. There's no comparison.
2017: I’m very happy to see a Barça game again in the stadium, most of all, for my son. He just turned 8, his dream was to watch a Barcelona game live. Just like almost all kids around the world, Messi is like a god to him.
2013: Messi is a unique talent. He was born to be a footballer. He is a very modest man who is always thinking about his companions and the good of the team. He was always brilliant, but when Pep Guardiola started to use him as a "false" No.9, he got even better. It's impossible to be more of a footballer than Messi.
2018: Messi is a genius. We're lucky to be able to see him every day. We're lucky to be involved in football during the era in which he is playing -- we want him to pull a rabbit from the hat every day. There's still room for Messi to surprise us. He always surprises you -- he never ceases to amaze me, honestly. You have to be ready to expect anything from Messi because he sees what no one else sees.
2017: Equating Messi with anyone else is like comparing a police man with Batman.
2017: CR7 versus Messi?: Mine is clear. I'd go with my teammate, with Leo, for all that he's represented and still represents.
2016: Cristiano has made history but Messi is above.
2018: Messi or Ronaldo? Messi. I would have loved to continue playing alongside him. I didn't get enough time with him, he was very young. I'd love to take to the pitch with him one more time.
2018: When Messi retires, he leaves the number '10' free, but no one else should ever touch it again.
2017: Messi does more things compared to Cristiano. Messi is the best. If Cristiano considers himself the best player in history, that's fine, but those of us who see him train, there is no comparison. Messi is the best in history and we don't see it any other way.
2016: For me, there is no heir to Messi. There will never be one. There will be very good footballers, but nobody at Messi's level. To be at the top for so many years, winning so many individual and team trophies, will be impossible to surmount. In the future, everything will be more equal amongst the best players. Though now they try to sell the story of the Cristiano and Messi battle, those of us who know football know there is no comparison. When Messi ends his career, there will be Neymar, Hazard, five or 10 players at a similar level, but none with the unquestionable superiority of Messi.
2014: I respect Ronaldo - but Messi is the best in the world.
2018: Every player on the planet is in Messi's shadow. [If you want to escape Messi's shadow, you should change to another sport.]
2013: Messi or Ronaldo? Messi! - For me Messi is naturally talented while Ronaldo is a trained product.
2015: Lionel Messi? - Fantastic. Cristiano Ronaldo? - Good.
2016: Lionel Messi is so good that it’s like watching a PlayStation game … while Cristiano Ronaldo is not a natural soccer talent. I think Messi is one of a kind. What he’s doing, I don’t know if we will see another player do the things that he does.
2016: He (Ronaldo) won the Champions League and Euro 2016, but in my view, there’s no debate needed. Lionel Messi is the best player in the world — aside from the titles.
2016: Many substitutes have won a European Championship, a World Cup or a Champions League. In the end, what's important is what each player does on the pitch, and Leo is the best. There's no comparison, there's no match. It's clear there is no comparison between one and the other. Cristiano, you have to respect him, it would be silly if you don't respect a player, but there is no comparison. There is no comparison, whoever likes football truly, ignoring shirt colours, knows that he [Messi] is the best.
2017: Cristiano is a great player who scores many goals but you have already known to me Messi is the best player in the world.
2018: For me, The Best [FIFA award] is a lie. Modric is a great player, one of the best in the world. But Messi is like at a separate table, plays at another level. He has once again demonstrated that he is the best in the world. When Leo runs, the rest of us only have to grit our teeth. He is the best and he makes us all a little better.
2018: [comment on Modric, CR7 and Salah as 3 nominees for FIFA the best award] Leo, for us, will always be the best player in the world ever. The human beings have to choose and they chose those three players, who have done well this year too. But for people like me and others, it doesn't change the fact that Leo is the best player in the world ever.
2016: I saw him [Messi] grow at Barcelona. And I can say, without any doubt, that he is better than Cristiano Ronaldo. He’s [Messi] the best player in the world and he will be so for 10 more years.
2016: Messi is the greatest player of all time.
2014: arrived in Barcelona in 2006 and Messi was still young. But his talent was immediately clear, he was in another league - he was already effective and decisive. He is very simple as a person and effective on the pitch. Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are both extraordinary players. They are able to score 60 to 70 goals per season each. However, they’re pretty different from each other, with different skills and characteristics. Probably Messi is more a player that can solve a game at any time. Ronaldo does as well, but Messi has more of the charisma of Maradona, in my opinion.
2018: I repeat again: for me, Leo Messi is the best player of all time and I hope he plays as long as he wants.
2018: He has an incredible left foot. I hope he goes on like this forever and scores many more goals. A lot of the time when he takes the free-kicks you go directly to the place where you’re going to celebrate them!
2018: people who have played with him [Messi] or know about football will tell you he is the best and the most complete player ever. Cristiano is fantastic and everyone admires him for what he does, the guy is a competitor. But talent-wise and when we talk about the complete player, Leo became the best goalscorer ever, became the best passer ever, he can score with both feet, his head, he can dribble around four players. He has vision to make assists, he is the most complete ever, no doubt. For me, Leo will always be the best player ever, with or without the world cup.
2015: Messi's the greatest footballer I've ever watched play. Along with Ronaldo, he is the best in the world, but Leo is my friend and - for me - he is the better of the two.
2017: You can’t really say what makes Messi the best in the world. He’s simply exceptional, quick, intelligent, a great finisher, can dribble like no other with speed oro in short spaces. It’s just magical! He’s also very generous, he doesn’t have that “wanting to be the best” aspect, that must-score attitude. He also presents you with opportunities to shine as well. Living with Messi has made me a better professional. To watch him training, on the dressing room, how serious he is facing every challenge helped me grow up. I’m lucky to have him as a friend, as an idol!
2017: Ronaldo is one of the best players in the history of the game but Messi is better. For me, Messi is the best. I have played with him and he has given me so much happiness. He is always improving and has been consistent for 10 years. I actually think that he gets better with every season and that is because of the passion he has.
2016: Messi does things with the ball that nobody can. He has been playing at an incredible level for 10 years, which has led him to be the best in history.
2015: [Who is the best player you play with?] - Messi. [Who is the best player you play against?] - Messi. CR7 is a type of player who working hard while Messi is natural and genius.
- Arturo Vidal, Chilean
2016 [said this 2 years before he joined Barca in 2018]: Everybody knows what Messi is: he is the best player in the world.
2018: He [Messi] always makes the difference and that's what makes him the best player in the world and in the history of football.
2018: The best in the world now and for many years is Messi, who is the greatest and will continue to be until he retires. Modric is spectacular, but Messi has no comparison with Luka or anyone.
2018: Leo is amazing. He fooled everyone with his goal. It's incredible how good he is. Each game we understand each other better, with him, with Suarez, he's very important for us.
2018: He [Messi] is the best player in the world, [the best] in the history of the game.
2018: Messi is the best. I always say he's the greatest of all time and what he does is outrageous.
2018: Messi is the best player in the world, a legend, I hope to learn a lot with him.
2018: He's the best in the world and to start a game with him and that he sets you up a goal makes me very happy.
2014: [Comments on CR7 2014 Ballon D'or] The Ballon d’Or thing is a little tiresome because it has been moved to a different playing field. It has moved to the field of opinions and off the field of play. But if we look at the field of play, I think Leo, for as long as he is around, will push the rest into second place.
2017: CR7 is the best player I have faced. Messi is the best player of all time.
2018: The top three players in football history are Messi, Ronaldinho and Zinedine Zidane. Messi always plays at a sublime level. He’s the best player in history.
2018: It’s very easy to work with him. He’s a very humble guy, everybody has a good opinion about him -- and when it comes to football, there are no words for what he’s capable of doing on the field. He is an idol to everybody.
2018: What I saw when I played and trained with him [Messi], he is by far the best player I have ever seen since I play football. Game after game, people can see the things he does, how easy is for him to score goals, assist, and make what he wants inside the pitch. Sincerely, there won't be anyone like him.
2018: Messi is the greatest of all time.
2018: He [Messi] is a genuis, the best that there ever has been.
2018: Messi is the best in the world.
2017: Messi is the best player in the hinstory.
2015: Messi is the best player in the world.
Who is slightly in favor of CR7 (but still never say CR7 is better than Messi) or stay indifferent?
2016: I think that Messi and Cristiano are both from another world. Their daily and ongoing battle with each other is unreal.
2018: In Argentina they know that Maradona is light years away from the best Argentine player in history which, for me, is Lionel Messi.
2017: [Messi or Ronaldo?] In the end, Ronaldo and Messi are the ones who have been winning all the individual awards in the world of football and that says it all about their tremendous individual talent as footballers. I would never choose between them.
2017: For me Messi is a genius and Cristiano is the icon of modern football - a very complete player. It's fair that both these players have equally won 10 Ballon d'Or awards.
2017: Cristiano has worked to improve. When you talk about the Ballon d'Or or any other prize, it's not just any person who votes, it's people who know football, who follow the stats of the players and pick the best in the world. I watch him train every day and the way he works is exciting. He wants to improve every day. That's the difference with Messi. Leo is a phenomenon, we never talk about Neymar... but that side of Cristiano, of training, professionalism, focus, motivation, success... Cristiano has an advantage over all the others.
2018: If Messi were Brazilian, he would be a world champion . [Which players he would have enjoyed playing alongside, Carlos named Neymar, Messi and Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo.] He added: 'Cristiano is the best for me.'
2017: Goalscoring is the hardest art in football and [Ronaldo] makes it look so easy. Head, left foot, right foot. Messi is a decent header of a ball but if you're looking at all-round players, you go head-to-head with Messi and Ronaldo, you'd say Ronaldo has a lot more different attributes let's say. He's probably always been quicker, right foot, left foot and header of a ball. I think Messi is outstanding in certain attributes but as an all-round physique, Ronaldo is such an all-round player.
2018: [CR7 or Messi, who is the best player in the world?] Both of them. They are really great players and now it depends on taste. I do not like to compare them. For us which we are in Real Madrid so CR7 is the best.
(All the above players are (ex-)Real Madrid players though - You know what I mean ;)
Respects to Lionel Messi
Bayern Munich stadium, 2018: Messi's shirt, hanging proudly in a special cabinet, is the only non-Bayern related piece of football history in the club museum. After breaking the record of the iconic German forward Messi decided to send his match shirt to Muller himself, along with an accompanying message. Signing the number on the back of his shirt, Messi wrote: 'For Gerd Müller / My respect and admiration / A hug, Leo.' Rather than keep the kind gesture for himself, 72-year-old Muller opted to send it on to his former club in order for it to hang in the famous stadium.
Manchester United's young academy dressing room, 2018: A photo of Lionel Messi cleaning his own boots from an Argentina game in 2014 is a reminder to United's youth players to stay grounded. United's aim with this is to teach the younger players at the club a lesson in humility, as revealed by youth team coach Nicky Butt in a recent interview with The Times.
How can you hate this man?, 2018: A reporter asked him if the Argentinian star kept an amulet that he gave Messi after his first contest, and one of the world’s best athletes pulled his shoe open to reveal it was still there.
Messi wax statue unveiled at Wembley, 2012: The Argentina international was outstanding in the 2011 UEFA Champions League final, as the Spanish giants triumphed 3-1 over Manchester United with the 25-year-old being the goalscoring star of the show. The life-size figure of Messi took four months to craft and cost a little less than 190,000 euros to create. The La Liga, Copa del Rey, Spanish Supercopa, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup-winning forward will - should he wish - be able to visit his commemorative statue at the Madame Tussauds museum in London starting Sept. 23.
Solid gold cast of Lionel Messi's foot, 2013: The foot was created by Japanese jeweller Ginza Tanaka to commemorate the football player's achievements.