Ronaldinho: Messi versus Ronaldo battle is good for football

The Barcelona legend believes a fierce rivalry for top honours is beneficial to star turns at Camp Nou and Real Madrid, and their sport as a whole

The eternal battle between Barcelona and Real Madrid icons Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo is “good for football”, says Brazil legend Ronaldinho.

For more than a decade now, two leading lights have lit up the sporting galaxy.

Messi and Ronaldo have shared 10 Ballons d’Or between them, remarkable goal-scoring exploits, an enviable haul of major trophies and countless records.

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Debate as to which of the two can be considered the greatest continues to rage and Ronaldinho considers their personal duel to be beneficial to both two superstar players and their sport.

A two-time World Player of the Year told Metro US: “It is a healthy fight, which is good for football, because they are two players who are always there to define who will win the Golden Ball, to see who will be the best in the world.

“So, it’s a fight that is good for football and all those who love this sport.”

Barcelona icon Ronaldinho was able to lift one title during his illustrious playing career which even Messi and Ronaldo have been unable to get their hands on – the World Cup.

A star turn at the 2002 tournament is, however, expecting Argentina to be among the challengers in Russia this summer.

He added on Messi’s quest to add global glory to a glittering CV: “He is in one of the best national teams in the world, if you look at them individually they are all great players.

“Team wise things have not done so well, but if you look at the individual quality of each player, it is one of the best teams in the world. But you have to respect them and Messi is going to be the best again.”

If Argentina are to conquer the world, they may have to go through arch-rivals Brazil.

The Selecao are currently sweating on the fitness of the nation’s talisman, Neymar, but Ronaldinho believes the Paris Saint-Germain forward will be ready to lead his country when the time comes.

He said on an unfortunate metatarsal injury which has forced the 26-year-old to undergo an operation: “Injuries are never welcome, but I think that in this case it will be good because it will give him time to prepare well to reach the World Cup in great condition.

“The life of a player is to live match to match, day by day and I think nobody is thinking yet about the World Cup, they are watching the Champions League, the end of the leagues that are to come, and I think players should think like this.”

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