Gary Neville insists Cristiano Ronaldo is ‘the greatest footballer that EVER lived’… but Jamie Carragher tells Sky colleague he’s ‘got carried away’ after his former team-mate’s Manchester United return
- Cristiano Ronaldo has taken the Premier League by storm back at Man United
- The 36-year-old scored a double on his second debut back at Old Trafford
- The performance sparked debate between Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville
- Neville backed Ronaldo as the greatest ever, but Carragher thinks it Leo Messi
Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville dug into the Cristiano Ronaldo vs Lionel Messi debate on Monday, and unsurprisingly the duo disagreed in a fiery discussion.
Ronaldo returned to Manchester United on Saturday in a blaze of glory, scoring twice in front of a rocking Old Trafford and charging back into the spotlight after failing on his Champions League promise at Juventus.
The Portuguese icon’s comeback has poured gasoline all over the blazing bonfire of this eternal debate, with both men making fresh starts this summer after Messi’s move to PSG.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s return to the Premier League has caused a storm and much debate
Gary Neville has claimed that Ronaldo is ahead of Lionel Messi as the greatest to play the game
Neville, a former team-mate of Ronaldo’s, is now convinced the 36-year-old is unrivalled across the game’s history.
‘I’ve always ignored the Ronaldo and Messi question, it’s a bit of a fantasy and both need to be enjoyed,’ the former United right-back said on Monday Night Football.
‘I was asked this morning by a gentleman who was driving me in: If you could pick any player in history to come off the bench and win you a game, who would it be?
‘It would absolutely be Cristiano Ronaldo. I do think he’s the greatest football player that has ever lived. That is not a bias.
Lionel Messi has also been on the move this season, joining PSG from boyhood club Barcelona
Jamie Carragher believes Messi is still better than Ronaldo due to his supernatural technique
‘Messi is a ridiculous player who’s scored an obscene amount of goals. It’s incredibly similar (on the stats) apart from the wrong-footed goals, the headers, and the penalties.
‘That takes me to a point whereby he’s more complete in terms of the most important part of the game. What tips me is the international record, the most goals of all-time, and the five Champions Leagues with worse teams than Messi’s.’
Ronaldo surpassed Iranian icon Ali Daei’s record to becoming highest scoring player of all time on the international stage, boasting 111 strikes so far.
However, Messi is two years younger than the 36-year-old and despite playing almost 150 fewer games is biting at Ronaldo’s heels on the overall charts.
The Argentine has fired 751 career goals in 932 games, trailing his Portuguese rival’s 787 in 1,076 games.
Carragher rubbished Neville’s argument, claiming Messi’s superhuman control of a football and relentless scoring trump Manchester United’s new signing.
Nevill argued Ronaldo’s all-round qualities make him a complete player and sway the debate
However, Carragher believes nobody is capable of the things Messi’ does and he edges it
‘Ronaldo is not the greatest player of all time. I’m going to say it’s his mate here (Messi),’ the former Liverpool centre-back said.
‘It doesn’t matter how a ball goes in the net, Messi has more goals than Ronaldo. Messi is also a playmaker, he can run a game, Ronaldo can’t do that.
‘Talk about who you want coming off the bench, Messi has scored more goals coming off the bench, so that’s a ridiculous thing you’ve said there.
‘Ronaldo does things other players can do, Messi does things we’ve never seen before. In terms of the goalscoring that’s not right.
‘There’s been a lot of fanfare about Ronaldo from ex-players, I just think you’ve just got carried away.’
Ronaldo is in Switzerland for United’s Champions League kick-off on Tuesday, ready for his second match since returning to the Red Devils against Young Boys.
Messi is ready for his own European debut at PSG, and is expected to line-up alongside Neymar and Kylian Mbappe to form a fearsome front-three against Club Brugge.