Top 8 Cristiano Ronaldo Teammates Who Rate Lionel Messi As the GOAT

Top 8 Cristiano Ronaldo Teammates Who Rate Lionel Messi As the GOAT

Isaac Darko
updated at February 25, 2024 at 10:13 PM
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  • Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have dominated football for nearly 20 years
  • The legendary rival duo boast an incredible 12 Ballon d'Or awards between them
  • While both players are undeniably gifted, opinion remains divided on the better

For years on end, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have gone head-to-head for the title of the greatest footballer of all time.

The two veterans have dominated the football scene for nearly two decades, boasting an incredible 12 Ballon d'Or awards between them.

Fans, footballers and pundits have, for the longest time, remained conflicted on which of the two football greats is the better of the pair.

Sergio Ramos, Wayne Rooney, Luka Modric, Dimitar Berbatov, Paul Scholes
Sergio Ramos, Wayne Rooney and Luka Modric have all given their opinion on the Ronaldo vs Messi debate. Photos by Zac Goodwin, Aurelien Meunier and David Bustamante.
Source: Getty Images

To this day, there are millions across the world that believe either is the best player to ever grace the beautiful game.

Most times, the opinion of some past and present footballers on the two superstars is influenced by their loyalty towards the player, either as teammates at the club level or with the national team.

However, the interesting thing is that some of Ronaldo's former teammates strongly believe Messi is the superior footballer.

Here are eight of Ronaldo's colleagues who rate Messi higher.

Luka Modric

Luka Modric, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi
Luka Modric confessed that Lionel Messi is that GOAT after his Croatia side lost to Argentina at the 2022 World Cup. Credit: @brfootball
Source: Twitter

Modric's statement after Croatia vs Argentina semi-final clash at the 2022 World Cup came as a surprise, considering he played alongside Ronaldo for six years at Real Madrid.

The pair enjoyed a ton of success together, winning three Champions League titles together at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.

Speaking after Croatia suffered a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Argentina however, Modric controversially classed Messi as the GOAT instead of Ronaldo.

“I hope [Messi] wins this World Cup, he is the best player in history, and he deserved it”, he said, as quoted by Mundo Deportivo.

Wayne Rooney

Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi
Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo played alongside one another in highly successful Manchester United sides. Credit: @espnfc
Source: Twitter

Rooney and Ronaldo were teammates at Old Trafford for five seasons, winning numerous honours together, but the duo has had an up and down relationship.

The Englishman is therefore not afraid to point out that Messi is the better player or the football GOAT.

He took to social media after the PSG superstar's dazzling display against Croatia at the 2022 World Cup, saying:

"Nothing has changed," with an emoji of a goat.

Angel Di Maria

Angel Di Maria, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi
Angel Di Maria is one of the few players to have played alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. Credit: @ghanaballers
Source: Twitter

The Argentine World Cup winner played alongside Ronaldo between 2010 and 2014 at Real Madrid. The duo won several laurels, including the Copa del Rey, La Liga and famous La Decima, Madrid's 10th Champions League title, in 2014.

Di Maria is also Messi’s teammate in the Argentina national team, winning the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

When it comes to choosing who the better player is, Di Maria obviously thinks Messi is superior, via TyC sports.

“It was a dream to have the possibility to play with Rooney, Ibrahimovic, Cristiano, Leo … they were players that I used on the PlayStation and I would never have imagined I’d get to play with them.”

Of these four, Di Maria said it was a difficult decision but he ultimately chose Messi.

Paul Scholes

Scholes is another Manchester United legend who played alongside Ronaldo at Man United. They won the Champions League and multiple league titles at Old Trafford.

The former English Midfielder scored the only goal of the tie between the Red Devils and Messi’s Barcelona in the 2007/08 UCL semi-final, eventually lifting the trophy.

However, Scholes gave his verdict on the Messi and Ronaldo debate via his column on The Independent.

“I think about the great players with whom I have shared a pitch: Eric Cantona, Zinedine Zidane, Pirlo, Xavi, Cristiano Ronaldo - and the greatest of them all is Messi.”

Dimitar Berbatov

Berbatov was a teammate of Cristiano Ronaldo at Man United in the 2008/09 season. The pair won the English Premier League title and FIFA Club World Cup, but lost the Champions League final of 2009 to a Leo Messi-inspired Barcelona team.

In an interview he granted to ESPNFC, Berbatov said:

“He’s the greatest. Ronaldo is brilliant, Messi is more my kind of player. He sees the game so clearly. He can score, create, he’s the complete player, the best ever probably.”

Sergio Ramos

Sergio Ramos, Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo
Sergio Ramos, who is teammates with Lionel Messi at PSG, played alongside Cristiano Ronaldo for almost a decade. Credit: @brfootball
Source: Twitter

Paris Saint-Germain defender, Sergio Ramos has become the latest footballer to delve into the Cristiano Ronaldo vs Lionel Messi debate.

The former Real Madrid captain was Messi's opponent for over a decade and often faced the then-Barcelona superstar during El Clasico games.

Ramos, who played alongside Ronaldo between 2009 to 2018 in a Real Madrid shirt, was one of the few people who could really rile up Messi when they were opponents.

However, after playing against Messi for over 15 years, Ramos has now admitted that the Argentina phenomenon is the better, per GOAL.

"There was suffering for several years playing against Messi," Ramos told PSG TV. "I am now enjoying him. He is the best player football has ever produced."

Iker Casillas

Former Real Madrid captain, Casillas has strong ties to Real Madrid. He was once a teammate of Ronaldo, between 2009 and 2015, before the goalkeeper left for FC Porto.

However, the legendary Spanish custodian has suggested the Barcelona talisman is the greatest of all time. He conceded this after watching La Liga game between Barcelona and Atletico Madrid at the Wanda Metropolitano in 2019.

Casillas tweeted, translated as follows:

“Formula for football: goalkeeper and player [with a goat emoji]. Today Barca took the three points at Wanda Metropolitano. Atleti played well but lack composure in front of goal. Blaugrana remain top of the league. Atletico have to fight for the Champions League zone.”
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Isaac Darko
Isaac Darko is a La Liga, Ligue 1 and Bundesliga editor at Sports Brief with a Degree in Journalism and Communications from Ghana Institute of Journalism (2010)