Cristiano Ronaldo's former Man Utd team-mate explains why Lionel Messi must be considered the better player

Former Manchester United midfielder Kieran Richardson has explained why he thinks Lionel Messi is better than his old team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo.
  • Richardson claims Messi is better
  • Played with Ronaldo from 2003 to 2007
  • But insists both players are GOATs

WHAT HAPPENED? Richardson has reflected on his time spent as a colleague of Cristiano Ronaldo's while at Old Trafford, with the former England international having spent five years on United's books at the start of his career. Richardson, who retired from football at the age of 33 back in 2017, has admitted that he would pick Ronaldo's rival Messi as the better footballer if hard-pressed into an answer on the age-old debate.

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WHAT THEY SAID: On the Steven Sulley Podcast, Richardson was quizzed on the duo and gave his thoughts, claiming: "They're both the GOATs."

However, he added, clarifying who comes out on top: "But if I had to pick one, then I have to pick Messi, even though I know Ronaldo, I've played with Ronaldo, I love Ronaldo.

"When they pass away, they'll still be talked about forever, but just because Messi got that World Cup. It's a massive thing having that World Cup, because even before Messi had the World Cup, everyone was saying, 'yeah, but he hasn't won it yet.'"

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Richardson added that winning the 2022 World Cup meant that there was "no question" over Messi's status as the greatest of all time, placing him above the likes of fellow Argentina icon Diego Maradona and Brazil great Pele.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Ronaldo and Richardson shared the pitch at the Theatre of Dreams between 2003 and 2007, in Ronaldo's more formative years. The versatile Englishman had broken onto the scene around the same time as Ronaldo's arrival from Sporting CP, but after a bright start, fell away from the first team in 2006 and left in 2007 as his colleague rapidly ascended to superstardom.

However, more recent times have not reflected well on Ronaldo, who is now playing his football for Al-Nassr in Saudi Arabia after his second spell at United came to an explosive end when his contract was terminated by mutual consent in November 2022.


Cristiano Ronaldo Al-Nassr angry 2022-23

Lionel Messi World Cup 2022


WHAT NEXT FOR RONALDO & MESSI? The five-time Ballon d'Or winner has found himself in a rough patch at Al-Nassr after a blistering start, and must shake off the frustrations he let out in a recent game against Abha, in order to help propel them back on track in their pursuit of the Saudi Pro League title. Messi, meanwhile, is now plying his trade at Paris Saint-Germain, and will be back in action in a Ligue 1 clash against Rennes on Sunday.