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Dutch legend Van Basten settles Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo debate

Netherlands legend Marco van Basten claims that fans who say Cristiano Ronaldo is better than Lionel Messi ‘know nothing about football’, according to the Mirror.

Both Ronaldo and Messi are perhaps two of the greatest players to have graced the game and are continually pitted against each other, whether it’s statistics, records or performances.

As it currently stands, Messi has won six Ballon d’Or awards to Ronaldo’s five and the two players are still locking horns for more trophies and accolades.

However, according to Dutch legend Marco van Basten who himself won the Ballon d’Or thrice, thinks that Messi edges the contest between the two stars.

Speaking to Corriere dello Sport Van Basten said: “Cristiano is a great player, but those who say he is better than Messi know nothing about football, or they’re saying it in bad faith,”

“Messi is one of a kind. Impossible to imitate and impossible to repeat. A player like him comes along every 50 or 100 years. As a kid, he fell into the football genius pot.”

Van Basten stopped playing at the age of 28 because of injuries and commented on Messi and Ronaldo’s performances despite advancing in age:

“I basically stopped playing at 28. I had already won three Ballon d’Ors. Just look at Ronaldo and Messi, both over 30, where they are now.”

Whether you rate Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo higher is a matter of taste, but both players in their own right firmly hold their spot amongst the greats of the game.

It will be interesting to see who picks up the next Ballon d’Or until then the perennial debate of Ronaldo vs Messi rages on.

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