Pele: I would choose Lionel Messi over Cristiano Ronaldo


In a recent interview ahead of the El Clasico, Pele said that both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are fantastic players, but Messi would be his choice to be on his team.

Another chapter will be written in the great rivalry between Barcelona and Real Madrid as the two teams prepare to face each other in a crucial El Clasico match this Sunday.

Barcelona currently sits atop the league table with 65 points (21-2-4), but Real Madrid is right on their heels in second place with 64 points (21-1-5). With just ten games remaining after Sunday’s matchup between the two powerhouses, this game may very well decide the winner of the league.

Of course, with the El Clasico, comes the eternal debate of who is better. Barcelona’s Lionel Messi or Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo?

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Both players have had tremendous seasons and, once again, find themselves on top of the leaderboard in terms of goals. Messi currently leads in La Liga goals with 32, with Cristiano right behind him with 30. Like always, all eyes will be on the both of them during this crucial match.

One person who is sure to be watching the game will be Brazilian great Pele. The Brazilian recently spoke with Goal in an interview and, of course, they asked him the eternal question. Messi or Ronaldo?

"If I had a team and had to choose, I’d choose Messi. But both players are fantastic. They play a different kind of football, but I think Messi is more for the team, and gives more assists, whereas Ronaldo is more about scoring. I think Ronaldo is a lot like Ronaldo Nazario from Brazil, he is the same style as him."

I think a lot of people would agree with Pele’s assessment. Messi would be the choice for most managers for the player to build their team around. It helps that he also plays in the middle of the field, so it’s easier to insert Messi as the centerpiece of a team. Where Ronaldo plays on the wing and is considered more of a goal-scorer than a playmaker. However, Cristiano has tremendous vision and playmaking ability as well, just look at Benzema’s goal from the last El Clasico meeting back in October.

Regardless, any manager would be blessed to have either player on their team, as each have the ability to single-handedly take over a game.

The last La Liga meeting between these two game back on October 25 and the Bernabeu (Real Madrid home field). Neymar struck first for Barcelona, but it was Real Madrid who left with a 3-1 victory with goals from Ronaldo (PK), Pepe and Benzema. Madrid did a good job of containing Messi the last time. However, Messi is in much better form now, and it will much more difficult to contain him at Camp Nou (Barcelona home field).

It should be another classic between the two Spanish powerhouses, and the two best players in the world.

[H/T: Goal]

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