In continuation of football’s greatest debate over who is the better player between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, one former England international has waded in, and in favour of the Argentine.
The recently retired Micah Richards, who once played for Manchester City and England, went up against both superstars on a few occasions in his career, but found the Blaugrana attacker harder to play against.
In a recent interview, the 31-year-old admitted to not knowing how to deal with Messi, and boasted that he was able to nullify Ronaldo’s threat more than once.
“I have to say Lionel Messi,” he told SPORTbible when asked which of the duo was his toughest opponent.
“Just because I’ve played against Ronaldo and I kept him quiet on a couple of occasions.
“I wouldn’t say (it was) easy. We went to Old Trafford and I played well against him whereas I couldn’t get anywhere near Messi. He was different gravy.
“He drops into pockets of space that you don’t want to be in. You think you’ve got him and then he just turns so quick.
“You can’t have a plan for him. As soon as he gets the ball, just try and foul him. Stop him from getting into his rhythm. That calibre of player. It’s just impossible to stop him.
“They are two of the greatest players of all time, the numbers speak for themselves, but I’d say Lionel Messi is harder to play against.”
A hard-sitting defender, Richards spent most of his career as City, before spells at Fiorentina in Italy and Aston Villa.