‘Lionel Messi is number one, for sure’ – Gerard Pique sides with Barcelona legend in Cristiano Ronaldo GOAT debate
- Legendary defender played with both all-time greats
- Considers Argentine to be most talented
- Has not offered World Cup congratulations
WHAT HAPPENED? The World Cup-winning defender has called time on his own illustrious playing career, with a shock retirement call made in November 2022. He can, however, consider himself fortunate to have played alongside a couple of all-time greats in the form of Messi and Ronaldo across his spells at Barcelona and Manchester United. He is therefore well placed to pass comment on which member of that superstar pairing can be considered the best, with said discussion having raged for some time.
WHAT THEY SAID: Pique has told John Nellis’ YouTube channel: “Well, it’s true that the fight between them two in the last decade was quite impressive because both of them did incredibly well. I think that in terms of talent, Messi is number one, for sure. It’s true that Cristiano has worked very hard to try and compete and fight for that first spot but if you see the careers of both… I would choose Messi, for sure. He showed that even though he’s 35 he can compete as the best player in the world. He showed it in the World Cup.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Messi completed football in the eyes of some when inspiring Argentina to World Cup glory at Qatar 2022, but former team-mate Pique admits that he has not be in touch with the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner to offer his congratulations. Pique said when asked if he had spoken with Messi: “Erm… not really. This is crazy but it’s true, I was disconnected from the World Cup. Since my retirement I needed to disconnect from sport, so I didn’t watch any games apart from the final - and not the whole game. I tried to disconnect, I went on holiday for a few days. My last few months were tough as a pro and I really needed to disconnect from football.”
IN THREE PHOTOS:
WHAT NEXT? Since hanging up his boots, Pique has been working on his other business interests – which include a 7-a-side league in Spain – while he has also become embroiled in a war of words with his pop superstar ex-wife, Shakira.