Argentina legend Diego Maradona has weighed in on the Messi vs Ronaldo debate and made a damning assessment of the greatest footballers of their generations. The Lionel Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo GOAT (Greatest Of All Time) debate has been among the most talked-about football rivalries since the duo emerged onto the scene in European football. Ronaldo's stint at Real Madrid, arch-rivals of Messi's Barcelona further fuelled the debate. Both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo share an astonishing 11 Ballon d'Ors between them.
Speaking to Marca, Argentina legend Diego Maradona took a shot at compatriot Lionel Messi's leadership skills. While Messi continues to be captain of Barcelona and the Argentina national team, Diego Maradona asserted that his personality is not one of a leader. Speaking of Lionel Messi, Maradona said that it is pointless to appoint someone as a leader 'who goes to the toilet 20 times before a match'. Diego Maradona added that nobody doubts the value of Lionel Messi, but he certainly is not the best. Despite his criticism of Messi, Diego Maradona still rates the Barcelona legend above Portuguese icon Cristiano Ronaldo.
Maradona is known for his controversial opinions and took a dig at the former Real Madrid star's persona on and off the field. Cristiano Ronaldo's performances in clutch situations and his ability to lead his team from the front have often impressed fans and pundits all over the world and Diego Maradona echoed those thoughts. Speaking of Ronaldo, Maradona said that the Portuguese superstar scores a goal and then 'sells a shampoo' and added that it would have been interesting if Cristiano Ronaldo was an Argentina native. However, when quizzed if Cristiano Ronaldo is the GOAT, Diego Maradona said that he likes Messi a lot more.
While Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo both competed as fierce rivals since they burst onto the scene, the rivalry reached a tipping point when the Portuguese international joined Real Madrid in 2009. Ronaldo spent nine seasons at the Santiago Bernabeu, competing directly with Messi for European, domestic and individual honours. During his time at Real Madrid, the Portugal skipper featured in 438 matches across all competitions, scoring a staggering 450 goals winning the LaLiga twice and the Spanish Cup twice. Ronaldo lifted four Champions League titles and four Ballon d'Or awards while in Madrid before he made a shock move to Juventus. During the same time frame, Lionel Messi played 476 matches across all competitions, scoring an incredible 472 goals, helping Barcelona lift the LaLiga title six times, while also winning the Champions League twice.