Barcelona legend Gerard Pique recently openly acknowledged that Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo share a similar level of skill, but he emphasized that the Argentine maestro possesses an unparalleled level of innate talent.
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have established themselves as the definitive football icons of their generation. Both superstars dominated European football for nearly two decades and have been the subject of the GOAT debate by many fans.
Pique had the luxury of playing alongside both megastars during his storied career. The 36-year-old played alongside Ronaldo at Manchester United between 2004 and 2008. Together, the duo won four trophies, including the Premier League and UEFA Champions League.
The former Spain international also played alongside Messi at La Masia for four years. Pique reunited with the 2022 FIFA World Cup winner at Barcelona in 2008. The pair dominated European football for over a decade after that, winning an astounding 30 major trophies.
Pique appeared on Rio Ferdinand’s FIVE YouTube channel yesterday (August 10). He was asked who he preferred between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, to which he replied:
I played with Messi since I was 13 until I was 17 before I joined Manchester United, so I knew the guy. I remember I was with United when Messi played his first game against Espanyol and I was living with my family(in Manchester), I was with Floribert Ngalula and I said to him this guy will be the best player in the world. Then when he arrived in the professional world and showed what he was capable of, everyone was surprised but I knew the guy from the beginning.”
“I would say that Cristiano is an amazing player, they are in the same level but maybe Leo has a talent of being magical. Cristiano is all about work, the best in the gym, the pitch, trying to overtake everyone in goals and assists..like a machine. But Leo is like from another world, not from this world.”
The full video can be watched below:
While Pique attempted to give a neutral response on his take on the GOAT debate, it appears that he prefers Lionel Messi over Cristiano Ronaldo.
How have Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo fared at their new clubs so far?
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo shocked the footballing world this year when both icons opted to trade European football for the MLS and Saudi Pro League respectively. Let’s take a look at the impacts they have made at their new clubs so far.
Lionel Messi left Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) as a free agent on June 30. The 36-year-old opted to join MLS club Inter Miami, signing a two-and-a-half-year deal on July 15. The Argentine superstar has had a dream start to life in the United States, having scored seven goals and provided one assist in just four appearances.
Lionel Messi has guided Inter Miami to the Leagues Cup quarter-finals in the process and will next face Charlotte later today (August 11).
Cristiano Ronaldo joined Al-Nassr in January. The 38-year-old had a solid start to his tenure in the Middle East, scoring 14 goals and providing two assists in 19 appearances during the 2022-23 season.
The Portugal ace has returned with vengeance in search of silverware this season. He has scored four goals in five appearances in the Arab Club Champions Cup, helping Al-Nassr reach the final. They will play Al-Hilal tomorrow (August 12).