Soccer Football - La Liga Santander - Real Madrid vs FC Barcelona - Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid, Spain - December 23, 2017 Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo helps Barcelona’s Lionel Messi get back to his feet REUTERS/Sergio Perez
CAIRO – 16 March 2018: Former Manchester United player Rio Ferdinand was amazed at the skills of Leo Messi in one of his goals against Chelsea in the last 16 of the Champions League.
The Englishman, who works as a commentator for BT Sport, believes that the Argentine is one of the two best players in the world along with Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo: "I think he and Cristiano are the best players."
However, despite their similarities, Ferdinand finds an important difference between the functions of each one: “Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are the best players. But the difference between both of them is that Cristiano goes out there and his mindset is ‘give me the ball in the areas I can score a goal’.”
He sees his ex-partner of Manchester United as a striker, while believing that the Barcelona’s playmaker participates in a wider area of the field performing the tasks of an organizer: “[Cristiano’s} a goalscorer. He’s not bothered about being on the halfway line and getting into the rhythm of the game, he wants to be at the cutting, knife-edge of the game.”
“Messi, you sometimes see him in the defensive midfield position. Picking up the ball, playing one-twos. Just playing with the opposition, he’s biding his time. He’s involved in the rhythm of the game constantly and that’s the difference.”