Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone has said that while the Argentina duo of Lionel Messi and Diego Maradona could play for the same side, he does not believe Cristiano Ronaldo could be a part of the same team.

In the debate of who the best soccer player is, the likes of Messi, Maradona and Ronaldo are always involved. While Maradona achieved glory on both, club and international level, Messi’s soccer CV still eludes success with his national team.

Maradona led Argentina to the FIFA World Cup victory in 1986 and he also was quite successful with the Italian side, Napoli, with whom he claimed two Serie A titles. Meanwhile, Messi has followed his footsteps as he has clinched a record six Ballon d’Or awards and several trophies with his club, FC Barcelona, whom he currently leads.

With Argentina, he so far has secured losses in two consecutive Copa America finals and a heartbreaking loss to Germany in the FIFA World Cup 2014 final. Even Ronaldo now has two trophies with Portugal, giving him an edge in the debate. Ronaldo’s Portugal claimed the Euro 2016 title before winning the inaugural UEFA Nations League in 2019.

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Sir Alex Ferguson chose Cristiano Ronaldo, left, over Lionel Messi, right, when discussing who's the better of the Ballon d'Or winners. Getty Images

In an interview with AFA, Simeone was asked what his opinion was about Messi and Maradona, to which he replied, "They are different. One is a goal-scoring machine. I have suffered daily in recent years [at the hands of Messi]. The other [Maradona] was Argentine football represented in a person. Today it would seem that Messi, more mature, is beginning to externalize. They could play together.”

When the Argentine was asked if Ronaldo could be plotted on the same side to strengthen the attack, the Atletico boss answered, "Adding Cristiano would be more complicated. We would start to have holes. I always say that if one [player] does not run, fine. If two do not run, difficult. If three do not run, impossible.”