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21 Nov, 2019 10:28

'But he doesn’t look like this!' Ronaldo’s response to teammates' Messi jibes revealed

'But he doesn’t look like this!' Ronaldo’s response to teammates' Messi jibes revealed

Ex-England player Peter Crouch says that Cristiano Ronaldo gave a typically flamboyant response when he was teased by his then-Manchester United teammates about not being as good a player as rival Lionel Messi.

Crouch picked up 42 senior England caps during a 20-year professional career and would often spend time with United players on international duty.

Speaking at a Q&A session with British television host Piers Morgan, Crouch shed some light on the internal debates that took place within the club as to exactly who was the better player, Ronaldo or Messi.

"I spoke to some of the United players and said what’s Ronaldo like, and they said they used to wind him up by saying Messi was better than him and he said: 'Yeah, but Messi doesn’t look like this,'" Crouch said at the event, which also featured former Premier League managerial stalwart Harry Redknapp and ex-Arsenal defender Martin Keown.

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The Ronaldo vs. Messi debate is one of the more fierce discussions among football fans nowadays. Their respective accomplishments within the game stand the two players head and shoulders above their peers in the ranks of the world's best players. 

Both Ronaldo and Messi have won five Ballon d'Or awards apiece, as well as having sparred for honors within Spanish football (until Ronaldo's move to Italy last summer) and on the international scene for more than a decade.

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Former Tottenham Hotspur manager Redknapp said that it is Ronaldo who will be remembered as the better of the two players when both of their careers end, saying that the Portuguese marksman's goal tally separates him from the Argentinian maestro. 

"I'm Ronaldo over Messi," Redknapp said. "I love both of them but I’m Ronaldo. There's him, Maradona, Pele, George Best was a genius. 

"When you look at what Ronaldo's done. I’m a big fan of George Best but you look at Ronaldo, he’s done it on the world stage, he’s won everything, he’s just incredible."

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Crouch, though, stayed a little more on the fence and paid tribute to both. 

"Ronaldo's record is ridiculous. He averages over a goal a game in like 500 games," he agreed, also saying that Messi is the most natural talent he has ever seen.

"I think Ronaldo, I admire his determination and mentality and his single-mindedness, but if you’re talking gifted footballers, there is no comparison to Messi."