Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher believes Lionel Messi is miles ahead of long-time rival Cristiano Ronaldo, claiming the Al-Nassr star is “nowhere near his level”.
There was “never a debate” between the two elite attackers, according to the former Liverpool defender turned pundit, who gave an explosive defence of Messi’s skill in an interview with CBS Sports host Kate Abdo. The Inter Miami and Al-Nassr players have consistently been pitted against each other over their two decades at the top of the global game, but for pundits such as Carragher, Messi’s superiority has never been in doubt.
“It was never a debate,” said Carragher. “Ronaldo’s nowhere near the level of Messi.” Arguing with fellow pundit and ex-USMNT player Charlie Davis, the former Premier League defender added: “Ronaldo is one of the greatest goalscorers of all time, Messi is the greatest player of all time, it’s not even close. Ronaldo scored goals, Messi scored goals and was an unbelievable player.”
There have been endless arguments over who has been the greater player over the years, but for many, Messi’s historic 2022 World Cup victory with Argentina and his outstanding performances throughout the competition were enough to tip the scales in favour of the Barca star. Messi has been adding to his reputation ever since joined Inter Miami in July. He has become so popular that tickets to watch him play are now more in demand “than any NFL game”.
It’s unlikely that this debate will phase Messi at all, now that he’s won everything there is to win in football. Besides, he’s still got plenty of games coming up for club and country, the most pressing concern right now being to ensure his country qualify for the 2026 World Cup. And despite the fact that Messi will be pushing 40 when the competition rolls around, Argentina boss Lionel Scaloni has even backed his “unstoppable” captain to play at the tournament in North America.