Ferguson: You can’t separate Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi

by Sam Peoples

Later today, Manchester United could potentially draw Real Madrid in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League and Ronaldo could play at Old Trafford for the first time since leaving in 2009.

Ferguson has always spoken openly of his admiration for Ronaldo and ahead of the draw, he has insisted that he is on a par with Messi.

He said: “There is nothing between the two of them, they are both the best players in the world.

“There will always be great players. You can go back to the 60s with Alfredo Di Stefano, Ferenc Puskas and Eusebio.

“Going into the 70s you had Johan Cruyff and Franz Beckenbauer and then in the 80s Marco van Basten.

“I think what we are seeing at the moment is that Messi is an exceptional player from this decade, along with Cristiano.

“I don’t think the rivalry against each other bothers them.

“I think they have their own personal pride in terms of wanting to be the best and I certainly know that about Cristiano because he played here at United for six years.”

Ferguson has a far greater insight into the mindset of Ronaldo than most having managed him for six years. He saw him grow up from a tempered prima donna into one of the worlds greatest players. Through sheer hard work Ronaldo attuned his natural talent and grew it exponentially and seeing as he has scored 169 goals in 169 appearances, it’s not hard to see why he is so highly revered.

A draw against Real Madrid and Ronaldo would be tough but it would be fantastic just to see Ronaldo play on the Old Trafford turf again. After last years disappoint though, Ferguson certainly wants to make a statement in this years competition.

He continued: “Europe has been disappointing for Premier League teams in the last couple of years.

“Sometimes you get blips but I don’t see this happening consistently as I think English teams will always be challenging in the latter stages of the Champions League.”

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