Messi or Ronaldo: When Neuer Chose Who Was Tougher to Face in Goal

Messi or Ronaldo: When Neuer Chose Who Was Tougher to Face in Goal

Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe
updated at October 19, 2023 at 7:21 AM
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  • Manuel Neuer once named who he struggled against more between two veterans
  • The German goalkeeper has established a legacy as one of the best shot-stoppers
  • Cristiano Ronaldo has scored more goals against Neuer than his rival Lionel Messi

Manuel Neuer has contributed to the ongoing debate over the greatest of all time (GOAT) between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, opening up on who was more difficult to face.

Regarded as the epitome of the modern-day goalkeeper, Neuer is celebrated for his instinctive saves, smooth ball-playing skills, and adeptness in the role of a 'sweeper keeper'.

Manuel Neuer, Cristiano Ronaldo, Bayern Munich, Germany, Lionel Messi, fear
Cristiano Ronaldo has scored the most goals against Manuel Neuer. Photo by Team 2 Sportphoto/ullstein bild via Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

While Neuer is highly respected among his peers, he recognises the unparalleled rivalry between Ronaldo and Messi that graced the world of football.

The duo collectively boast an impressive 12 Ballon d'Or awards and tormented goalkeepers for nearly two decades during their reign over the sport.

Known as the German wall for his ability to thwart opponents from scoring, Neuer has explained which between the Argentine and the Portuguese was harder to face.

"Well, both players played really well. Both have their strengths and weaknesses, but if I had to go with one, I would choose Cristiano," he said as quoted by Madridsmo.

Neuer's selection is understandable given the former Manchester United, Real Madrid, and Juventus ace's record of 10 goals past the German in nine encounters, per Sportsbignews.

When queried about whether his preference stemmed from conceding the most against Ronald, Neuer responded by emphasising the distinctions between the two veterans.

"In the case of Messi, he would dribble past defenders, sometimes defenders block him, sometimes not, but you can expect when the shot is coming so you know you have time to adjust."
"But in the case of Cristiano, when he crosses the halfway line, you have to be extremely alert. The rocket could fire at any time and you wouldn't even realise when it got past the net. So he really tests your reflexes to the limit. So I think I didn't want to face Cristiano much," he ended.

This is a variation on Neuer's answer during an interview with ESPN FC last year, in which he chose Messi over Ronaldo while responding to a 'You Have To Answer' quiz, per Sportskeeda.

Mesut Ozil chooses Ronaldo or Messi

Sports Brief previously reported on Mesut Ozil, who celebrated his 35th birthday on October 15, contributing an intriguing perspective on the everlasting debate.

Upon retiring in March this year, the German spoke about the best between Messi and Ronaldo, using his direct interactions as the cornerstone of his response.

Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe photo
Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe
Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe is a Ligue 1, Bundesliga, and La Liga editor with five-year experience. He previously worked with Sports Corna and 360SportsGH.