For the last 15 years, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have battled against each other to be regarded as the greatest footballer in history. Football fans from the previous century will feel that it is Diego Maradona or Pele, who deserve that label. But fans in the 21st century have always debated about Messi and Ronaldo.
Former Chelsea player Eden Hazard joined the bandwagon and made a rather sensational claim about the better player between the two, and also included himself in that debate.
Speaking to L’Equipe, Hazard said, “Individually, Messi is perhaps the only one. I loved watching the Barcelona player, less so at the end, but he’s the greatest in history. It’s impossible to take the ball away from him. Cristiano is a bigger player than me but, in terms of pure football, I honestly don’t think so.”
“Neymar, maybe. After that, he’s no better than me, but at Real, you’ve got the best, also in terms of their careers: Benzema, Modric, they were the best, Kroos, Kev’ (De Bruyne), they all exude football,” he added.
Messi is currently plying his trade with MLS side Inter Miami, where he has been joined by former Barcelona teammates Luis Suarez, Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba. Meanwhile, Ronaldo is with Saudi Pro League side Al Nassr. On the other hand, Hazard announced his retirement at the age of 32 in 2023, after a rather disappointing time with Real Madrid in Spain, where he was often accused of being overweight and also fell victim to a recurring ankle injury.
Recently, Al Nassr thrashed Miami 6-0 in a friendly, with Messi’s team looking lazy and weak. Inter Miami’s defensive backline also looked extremely exposed, despite the absence of Ronaldo, who was ruled out due to an injury. Messi came in as a substitute, but failed to help his side stage a fightback.
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