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EPL news 2021, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, greatest player ever, Manchester United, PSG, goals, results, highlights, latest

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Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville have reignited the debate on who is the greatest player of all time in a fiery discussion after Cristiano Ronaldo’s second debut for Manchester United on the weekend.

Ronaldo returned in front of a buzzing Old Trafford crowd, scoring twice and helping the Red Devils thump Newcastle United 4-1.

It was quite the statement from the 36-year-old, whose unsuccessful attempts at winning the Champions League for Juventus saw him pushed out of the spotlight in recent seasons.

And while great rival Lionel Messi is also starting afresh this season at new club Paris Saint-Germain, Ronaldo’s former teammate and Sky Sports pundit Neville insisted that the Portuguese is now indisputably the greatest.

“I’ve always ignored the Ronaldo and Messi question, it’s a bit of a fantasy and both need to be enjoyed,” Neville said on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football.

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“I was asked this morning by a gentleman who was driving me in: If you could pick any player in history to come off the bench and win you a game, who would it be?

“It would absolutely be Cristiano Ronaldo. I do think he’s the greatest football player that has ever lived. That is not a bias.

“Messi is a ridiculous player who’s scored an obscene amount of goals. It’s incredibly similar (on the stats) apart from the wrong-footed goals, the headers, and the penalties.

“That takes me to a point whereby he’s more complete in terms of the most important part of the game. What tips me is the international record, the most goals of all-time, and the five Champions Leagues with worse teams than Messi’s.”

However, Messi at 34 years old is two years younger than Ronaldo and has 751 career goals in 932 games, compared his rival’s record of 787 goals in 1,076 games.

Ex-Liverpool star Carragher hit back at Neville’s comments, claiming Messi’s greater scoring rate and overall footballing ability means he is the greatest, not Ronaldo.

“Ronaldo is not the greatest player of all time. I’m going to say it’s his mate here (Messi),” Carragher said.

“It doesn’t matter how a ball goes in the net, Messi has more goals than Ronaldo. Messi is also a playmaker, he can run a game, Ronaldo can’t do that.

“Talk about who you want coming off the bench, Messi has scored more goals coming off the bench, so that’s a ridiculous thing you’ve said there.

“Ronaldo does things other players can do, Messi does things we’ve never seen before. In terms of the goalscoring that’s not right.

“There’s been a lot of fanfare about Ronaldo from ex-players, I just think you’ve just got carried away.”

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