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L. Messi

Messi was 'clearly' ahead of Ronaldo even before World Cup win, insists Aguero

5:36 PM IST 21/12/22
Messi Ronaldo World Cup 2022
Sergio Aguero has claimed that Lionel Messi was ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo even before winning the World Cup with Argentina.
  • Aguero believes Messi has always been the best
  • Puts Messi ahead of Mbappe as well
  • Lauds Argentina's future generation

WHAT HAPPENED? Messi inspired Argentina to their third global crown at the Qatar 2022 tournament, while Ronaldo endured a disappointing World Cup on the back of his contract termination at Manchester United. However, Messi's former international teammate, Aguero, believes he had already proven himself as the best in the business ahead of his long-time rival. The Manchester City legend has also insisted that Kylian Mbappe is not yet at the same level as Messi, despite his hat-trick for France in their World Cup final loss to La Albiceleste.

WHAT THEY SAID: "I don't think there is any doubt. For me there were no doubts before the World Cup and much less now. Cristiano has had an extraordinary career and is a very complete athlete. But Leo clearly has been and is the best," Aguero told Stake.com.

The former Argentina star, who got to lift the World Cup with Messi and Co one year after being forced to retire due to a heart condition, added on Mbappe: "What to say about Kylian? He has scored three goals in a World Cup Final and has converted the penalty in the decisive instance. And he has had a great World Cup too. But today Leo has the sceptre. Mbappe's only 23 years old and is already world champion and runner up. Surely he will go for more because he is a very talented and very competitive player."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Messi was perfectly complemented by Argentina's next generation of players in Qatar as Enzo Fernandez, Julian Alvarez, Lisandro Martínez and Alexis Mac Allister stepped up their game when it was required, and Aguero believes that the future is bright. "Players like Leo appear from time to time. Hopefully in a few years another one will come out with those conditions. How Leo appeared after Maradona," he said. "In the meantime, we have many young players who are taking over and who have the winning mentality, character and ability to continue competing at the highest level. Look at what happened during the tournament. Players like Enzo Fernández, Julián Álvarez, Lisandro Martínez and Mac Allister, just to give a few examples, who initially weren't starters ended up being so and with remarkable performances. There is a present and there is a future for Argentina."

IN THREE PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT FOR MESSI & RONALDO? Messi is expected to return to Ligue 1 action with Paris Saint-Germain against Strasbourg on December 28. Ronaldo, meanwhile, is still looking for a new club after dropping into the free agency pool.