Lionel Messi, and not Cristiano Ronaldo, is on the way to greatness according to Barcelona and Netherlands legend Johan Cruyff. He went on to suggest that Messi's pure technique gives him the edge over Cristiano Ronaldo.
Messi and Ronaldo will face-off four times in eighteen days as Barcelona and Real Madrid play in the final of the Copa Del Rey, the two legs of the Champions League games and at the Santiago Bernabeu in the league.
In the past six occasions the two have met, Messi has got the better of Ronaldo.
The debates about who is better will go on, but Cruyff has given his opinion on the topic. When asked how close Messi was to greatness, Yes, he's on his way. He's just played now four years or something like that and the others have played at least 14 years, so he's got 10 more years to go with same quality and, hopefully, the same success.
(Messi's) got qualities similar to Maradona, who was a player, too, who did a lot of individual stuff. People will connect a good player with the results they achieved in their career and Maradona of course won the world championship and that's what Messi didn't win and it will be (decided on) something like that. But for me, today, Messi is a great player.
However, he didn't think much of Ronaldo's credentials.
It's little more difficult, I think, he went on. All the people mentioned were players from the street and Ronaldo is more of a physical player, while the others mentioned are not physical players [but] pure technical players - pure technique.
Messi's Barcelona teammate Xavi agreed with Cruyff's view. I don't know if he's the best player in the history of the game, but right now, nobody comes near him, Xavi told BarcaTV. If we are choosing the best player in the world, that's Messi. On the pitch he's amazing. He has a unique personality. It's astonishing what he does.