It’s a question every football fan will have been asked countless times over the past decade or so.
Messi and Ronaldo are arguably the two greatest players in the sport’s history and the fact they’ve competed against one another for so many years means they’re constantly being compared.
Both superstars have a legion of loyal fans and many high-profile footballers, managers and pundits side with one or the other when their names are brought up – which is very often.
But there are some who provide superb balanced answers to the question and Peter Crouch did just that back in April 2018 soon after Ronaldo’s famous bicycle kick for Real Madrid against Juventus in the Champions League.
In his Daily Mail column, Crouch refused to pick one or the other and instead articulated the need for lovers of the sport to savour the pair’s unrivalled on-pitch brilliance.
Crouch on Messi vs Ronaldo
The former Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool striker wrote: “He [Ronaldo] will not entertain the idea of losing and I am convinced that what Lionel Messi does for Barcelona drives on Ronaldo.
How many times have you seen Messi score a hat-trick one night and then Ronaldo do the same 24 hours later? It can’t be a coincidence.
“I never got to see Diego Maradona play, other than on TV. I have seen only clips of Johan Cruyff and Pele and read about the feats of Alfredo Di Stefano and Ferenc Puskas, but I honestly believe Ronaldo and Messi are the two greatest players who have ever breathed.
“A few weeks ago, I referred to the fact that I will enjoy telling my grandchildren one day that I shared a pitch with Messi – it was during a Champions League game for Liverpool in 2007 – but I will say the same about Ronaldo.
“People love discussing which one of the two is the best and it is certainly interesting. I have always been in Messi’s camp, as I feel his talents are God-given and natural, while Ronaldo has worked relentlessly to make himself invincible with that incredible physical strength.
“Really, though, the argument about who is better should stop.
We do not know how much longer we are going to see them and we should just enjoy what they are doing without trying to make one of them second best.
“These players have provided countless memories for countless people, whether it was with a trick or a flick in a little game or a goal to win a trophy.
Do not separate them. Savour them.”