Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi? That’s what Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher debate on MNF. (Skysports)
Who is the greatest? Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi? On Monday Night Football, Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher are at odds according to Sky Sports.
On Monday Night Football, Gary Neville advocated for Cristiano Ronaldo to be considered the greatest player of all time, while Jamie Carragher argued for Lionel Messi Sky Sports reported.
They differ on whether Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi should be regarded as the greatest player of all time, according to Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher.
Which player in history would you choose as a manager if you only had one substitute left?
A new discussion regarding Ronaldo’s place in football history has been started by his scoring come back to the Premier League, and Neville presented an intriguing question on Monday Night Football to try to shed some light on the matter.
Below is the conversation as reported by Skysports
“It would be Cristiano Ronaldo,” said Neville.
“It would absolutely be Cristiano Ronaldo.
“I looked at his goal breakdown. He can score with his left foot, his wrong foot. He can score with his right foot. He can score from distance. He is probably the best poacher now in world football.
“He can score penalties. And if you stick him in the box and hang it up there he will go and score with a header. He might even score with a free-kick.
“So if you think about who is the greatest player of all time, I do think he is the greatest football player who has ever lived. He is the player who could win me a football match in the most different ways. He is the most complete player.”
“Manchester is excited about Ronaldo’s comeback,” says Neville of Ronaldo’s performance.
Fans of Ronaldo’s greatest opponent will undoubtedly be offended by Neville’s assessment, but he expounded on why Ronaldo is ahead of Messi.
“There is no doubt that Messi has scored an obscene amount of goals, he is a ridiculous player,” added Neville.
“But Ronaldo, the three big differences are the headers, that Ronaldo has scored four or five times more, the wrong-footed goals, that Ronaldo has scored 30 or 40 per cent more, and he has scored more penalties.
“It just took me to the point where he is more complete.
“The international goals, the Champions League wins, in teams that were not as good as the teams that Messi played in, just takes me to the point where I think he is the greatest player of all time.”
“You are talking about the different types of goals,” Carragher told Monday Night Football.
“It does not matter how a ball goes in the net. It does not matter if one is a header or a free kick. Messi has a better goal record than Ronaldo.
“Messi is also a playmaker. Messi can run a game. Ronaldo cannot do that. Again, not a criticism. But there is no way in the world he is the greatest player of all time.
“You talk about who you would want coming off the bench. Messi has scored double the amount of goals coming off the bench. It is a ridiculous thing to say. It does not matter if Messi’s goals all come with his left foot, the stats prove he has more chance of scoring.
“Two wonderful players. In terms of all the attributes, Ronaldo is a more complete player. He can do things that Messi can’t in terms of his weaker foot and in the air.
“But Messi can take you to a place where you can’t actually believe what you are seeing. What Ronaldo does is what other players can do, Messi can do things you have never seen before.”
A look at what Neville says about Ronaldo’s game.
When it comes to attacking statistics, Gary Neville takes a hard look at Cristiano Ronaldo’s whole career. When he returned to Manchester United, Ronaldo was considered a bit past his prime, but he showed against Newcastle that his effect is still significant.
“This is a different Ronaldo second time around,” said Neville.
“We know that he is the most alert, he is the one who anticipates in the box, he is the one most driven to score goals and create great numbers.
“The best way to look at his career and how it has evolved, his involvement in the build-up is limited. If you look at his touches, he goes from 65 touches at Manchester United and it is decreasing year on year.
“He is going from a winger who is involved in the game regularly to someone who is now essentially playing in the penalty box and having a lot fewer touches.
“Again, his dribbles are nearly half what they used to be at Manchester United. He is not going wide, getting on the ball and going past people. That is not saying he will never do it but it has decreased enormously.
“The chances that he creates for others, again, have decreased enormously in the last 10 to 15 years. His assists you can see are getting less. His shots are getting a lot less. His shots from outside the box are decreasing.
“So all these stats are telling you that this is a penalty-box footballer who is restricting his play outside of the box, far greater than at any moment in his career, because of his age.
“But then you look at his stats that are going up, the stats that are improving. Shot conversion has gone from 12 per cent at United to 17 per cent last season at Juventus, his highest ever level, the best of his career.
“His goals, he is at 0.93 goals per 90 minutes last season for Juventus. That has always been high from his third or fourth season at Manchester United.
“It just tells you what Manchester United have signed. This is a number nine. This is no longer the player who will counter-attack from box to box regularly in matches.
“He will live in and around the box, he will live in and around the centre-backs, he will anticipate, he will make movements that are outstanding across defenders.
“He will hopefully – from Manchester United’s point of view – make a big difference in the games where there are narrow margins.
“Manchester United had seven nil-nils last season, the most that they have ever had in Premier League history. They drew 11 games overall and lost six, finishing 12 points behind Manchester City.
“If you are Ole Gunnar Solskjaer thinking about Cristiano Ronaldo, you are looking at stats like that. Is he the man to score a goal in narrow-margin matches? I know it is hypothetical but if they can convert those nil-nils to wins then Manchester United are champions.
“That is the question now. Is Cristiano Ronaldo going to be enough to make Manchester United champions this season?”
Culled from Skysports.