When Paolo Di Canio settled Cristiano Ronaldo vs Lionel Messi debate

When Paolo Di Canio settled Cristiano Ronaldo vs Lionel Messi debate

Isaac Darko
May 15, 2024 at 7:11 PM
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  • The debate persists over who is the GOAT between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo
  • Former Italy international Paolo Di Canio once weighed in on the everlasting topic
  • Messi seemed to settle the debate once and for all by clinching the 2022 World Cup win

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Italian icon Paolo Di Canio once shared his thoughts on the age-old debate of who is the greatest of all time between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

The ex-West Ham United forward had criticised Messi's demeanour during Paris Saint-Germain's 3-0 win over Bordeaux in the 2021-22 season.

Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Paulo Di Canio, GOAT debate, Inter Miami, Al Nassr.
There is an eternal debate on the best between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Photos by @intermiami/@alnassr.
Source: Twitter

After leaving his childhood club Barcelona due to financial constraints, the Argentine star joined the Parisians on a high-profile free transfer, playing alongside Kylian Mbappe and Neymar.

In his debut season in France, Messi scored 11 goals and provided 14 assists in 34 games across all competitions, a performance below his usual standards.

A significant moment of his first season at the Parc des Princes was PSG's exit from the Champions League at the hands of Real Madrid.

Di Canio settles GOAT debate

PSG lost 3-2 on aggregate to Real Madrid in the Round of 16, with Messi missing a penalty in the first leg.

Meanwhile, Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat-trick in Manchester United's 3-2 win over Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League that same weekend.

Di Canio criticised Messi, suggesting his lack of expressive body language hinders him.

Despite playing the full match in PSG's 3-0 win against Bordeaux, Messi's subdued demeanour upon leaving the pitch puzzled Di Canio, who preferred Ronaldo's passionate approach. Messi was also surprisingly booed by home fans in the same match.

"Messi left the pitch scratching his head, he has no emotions. I prefer Cristiano Ronaldo. ‘Do you want me to sit on the bench against Man City?' I go back to Portugal, then I return and score a hat-trick. I prefer the human who has a soul to the alien without emotions," he told Sky Italia via Sportskeeda.

Rafa Nadal settled GOAT debate

Sports Brief reported on Rafael Nadal settling the GOAT debate stylishly due to his alliance with Real Madrid, as he is one of the club's celebrity fans.

The tennis star stated Argentina captain Lionel Messi was the better player, and he added that his connection with Los Blancos meant he had to stick with the former Manchester United star.

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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)