There is no Cristiano Ronaldo vs Lionel Messi debate anymore, Ronaldo is the best player of all time, says Liverpool legend David James | Football News

Cristiano Ronaldo is 37 years old and he is still firing on all cylinders. His recent hat-trick for Manchester United against Tottenham, which was also incidentally the 49th hat-trick of his club career, saw him become the second oldest player in Premier League history to score a hat-trick. But more importantly perhaps it also saw Ronaldo become professional football‘s all-time leading goal scorer, going past Austro-Czech Josef Bican.
Over the years, we have seen Ronaldo continue to remain an extremely fit and prolific player, across the leading leagues in the world – EPL, La Liga and Serie A – leagues where he also holds multiple records.
His return to United colours was a huge shot in the arm for the Red Devils who are trophy-less since 2017. They did finish second behind Manchester City in the Premier League last season, but they haven’t tasted any real silverware success in a long time. Going forward, the United management will be banking on Ronaldo to help them end that drought.

Cristiano Ronaldo – Reuters Photo
One topic that has dominated football conversations – both in living rooms and on TV channels for a long time now is – Who is the better footballer – Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi?
Of course for this one has to consider both club and country achievements of both players. While Argentina perhaps will always be a bigger favourite at say the World Cup, Ronaldo’s Portugal is always seen as a dark horse contender. And while Argentina competes in Copa America, Portugal of course play in the Euros.
But in club football, while Messi ruled the roost in Barcelona, Ronaldo has plied his trade in Portugal (Sporting Lisbon), England (Manchester United), Spain (Real Madrid and Italy (Juventus) – and he has been prolific across these leagues. Messi meanwhile is still trying to find his rhythm in France for PSG after leaving his childhood club in what was not a very pleasant separation. He was recently jeered by angry PSG fans in a league match PSG won, because of the clubs early exit from the Champions League. Dani Alves recently said Messi is looking out of place at PSG and should return to Barcelona. Barca meanwhile seem to be moving on in the post-Messi era. They stunned Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu 4-0 in the latest El Clasico in La Liga, with a brace by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and one goal each by Ronald Araujo and Ferran Torres.


Lionel Messi – AFP Photo
Ronaldo has won the Ballon d’Or five times, while Messi leads the all-time charts with a record seven wins.
Former England, Liverpool and Manchester City goalkeeper David James was a guest on the Times of India’s sports podcast Sportscast recently and talked about a wide variety of football topics, including who he thinks is the better footballer between Ronado and Messi. James was at one time the first choice keeper for the England national team and played well over 200 matches for Liverpool. He has also been the marquee player and manager of the ISL team, Kerala Blasters.
“I have to say this – I admire the success of Ronaldo. When you look at a career. This is the best career ever. Before we went on air we did say that we weren’t going into the Messi-Ronaldo debate. I don’t think there is a debate anymore. He is the best player of all time. There is no question about that. His record speaks for itself.” James said on the TOI Sportscast podcast.
Sneak peek of David James on the Ronaldo vs Messi debate

'There is no Ronaldo vs Messi debate - Ronaldo is the best player of all time'

‘There is no Ronaldo vs Messi debate – Ronaldo is the best player of all time’

While discussing the Premier League, often called the toughest football league in the world by many experts, James pointed out how the intensity of the EPL rubs off on the Champions League. An all English final therefore is not surprising at all in the tournament which has on offer the holy grail of European club football. James pointed out that though Ronaldo might be the best player in the world according to him, that also does not guarantee title success for his team in the Premier League.
James, who also played for other Premier League clubs like Watford, Aston Villa, West Ham United, Portsmouth, Bristol City and Bournemouth and who at one time held the Premier record for the most number of clean sheets said – “However, this is maybe a testament to the EPL. Ronaldo has had what 5-6 seasons now with Manchester United, granted that at the beginning of his career he wasn’t playing every week. I think he is 4 goals shy of a hundred PL goals for United. If he gets to 100, that’s going to be phenomenal, but what we are seeing is – Ronaldo – best player ever, in a Manchester United side who are literally fighting for 5th place – so that tells you that even the best player in the world doesn’t guarantee you the title. And that’s how competitive the Premier League is. Take nothing away from what Ronaldo has done. But that begs the question, do teams need Number 9s or has the game evolved?” David James further said on TOI Sportscast.
Listen to the full episode of TOI Sportscast with Liverpool legend David James HERE.

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