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‘Assists and the way he plays’ - Shola Ameobi picks the best between Ronaldo and Messi

14:44 GMT 14/03/2019
Cristiano Ronaldo Lionel Messi Split
Both players have won the Ballon d'Or five times and recently steered their sides to the quarter-finals of the Champions League

Newcastle United legend Shola Ameobi has picked the best between Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona ace Lionel Messi.

In 2003, Ronaldo joined Manchester United from Sporting Lisbon and he has become one of the greatest players in football, scoring 597 goals.

The Portugal international helped the Red Devils win a host of trophies, including the Champions League in 2008 and three Premier League titles before departing to join Real Madrid in 2009.

Ronaldo went on to clinch a number of trophies with the Spanish giants including winning the Champions League three times in a row.

In 2018, he made a surprise move to the Italian Serie A side and has continued to impress. On Tuesday, the forward delivered another sterling performance scoring a hat-trick against Atletico Madrid to help Massimiliano Allegri’s men overturn a 2-0 deficit and advance to the quarter-final of the Champions League on a 3-2 aggregate.

Messi, who progressed from the youth set-up of Barcelona, is also regarded as one of the best in the game and with five Ballon d'Or, is on par with the Portuguese rival.

The 31-year-old has scored 599 goals and contributed 268 assists in all competitions - 50 assists more than Ronaldo - including his brace in their 5-1 Champions League win over Lyon on Wednesday that helped his side ease into the last-eight

And the Nigeria striker has picked the Argentina international above the 34-year-old because of his ‘assists and the way the plays’.

“Ronaldo, looking at him when he first came from Sporting Lisbon to Manchester United with the quality that he had, he has really progressed in his game; his physical prowess, his speed, his skills, his strength, the  goalscoring,” Ameobi told Premier League Production.

 “We would not have thought that guy coming to Manchester United as a right-winger would go on and get all these records for the likes of Manchester United, Real Madrid and now Juventus. In terms of mental fortitude he is the guy, he wants to be the very best.

“You can see what he has done winning the champions league three years in a row for Real Madrid and potentially going on again.

“Everywhere he has been he has been a winner and I think that’s why he is up there as one of the greatest because he elevates whatever team he is in, whatever country he’s played in, he is really been the best player. When you look at the goalscoing records that he has in the Champions league as well, it’s just immerse.

“Talk of Messi, I think they are elevating each other to new levels.

“It is so hard [to pick the best] because they bring so much and are two different players. What matters to me is not the goalscoring because they are neck-and-neck.

“But if you look at what Lionel Messi does, if you look at the way he assists. I don’t know how many assists he gets every season but he is either scoring or he’s assisting others to score.

“We have talked about how great Ronaldo is but for me, Messi is on the high. These are the two things that pip Messi above Ronaldo; assists and the way he plays.”