One of the greatest coaches in the world, Sir Alex Ferguson turned 80-year-old today, December 31, 2021, and some comments he made over the Cristiano Ronaldo vs Lionel Messi rivalry surfaced to rock some boats.
Though Sir Alex Ferguson achieved everything in club football especially as the coach of Manchester United between 1986 and 2013 before he retired, one of his greatest legacies was the fact that he picked up Cristiano Ronaldo from a Portuguese club, Sporting Lisbon, and made him a football icon.
Recall that the Scottish tactician decided to go for Cristiano Ronaldo in 2003 after a game between Lisbon and Manchester United in which the Portuguese star outplayed United’s stars.
He arrived at Manchester United as a raw talent which coach sir Alex Ferguson trained and made him one of the greatest footballers of all time.
Under the watch of the Scottish tactician, Ronaldo helped Manchester United to win three Premier League titles, two league cups, one FA Cup, three Community Shield, one UEFA Champions League title, and one FIFA Club World Cup. He won his first Ballon d’Or at United.
Sir Alex Ferguson agreed to sell Ronaldo to Real Madrid in 2009 for a then world transfer fee. At Real Madrid, Ronaldo made himself the club’s all-time highest goalscorer and won four UEFA Champions League titles in 9 years. He also won four Ballon d’Or in Spain to make it 5 in total.
Since 2004 that Messi surfaced in world football after making his debut for FC Barcelona, football fans, analysts, and stakeholders have always had reasons to compare the two players.
Ronaldo who is now 36-year-old has left Real Madrid for Juventus and back to Manchester United last summer, and Messi who is now 34-year-old has left FC Barcelona for Paris Saint Germain last summer, but the debate about who is the greatest has continued to linger on.
Sir Alex Ferguson who worked closely with Ronaldo for about six years and has watched Messi closely, has always insisted that Ronaldo is better than Messi.
On his birthday, a United Kingdom publication, The Mirror dug out comments Sir Alex Ferguson made to explain why Ronaldo is better than 7 times Ballon d’Or winner, Lionel Messi.
In the comments Ferguson made in 2015, the retired coach who reportedly played a huge role in the return of Ronaldo to Manchester United last summer, stressed that Ronaldo can play in any club and still succeed.
“People say ‘who is the best player in the world?’ And plenty of people quite rightly say Messi – you can’t dispute that opinion,” the retired coach said.
“But Ronaldo could play for Millwall, Queens Park Rangers, Doncaster Rovers… anyone, and score a hat-trick in a game. I’m not sure Messi could do it.
“Ronaldo’s got two feet, he’s quick, great in the air, he’s brave – Messi’s brave, of course. I think Messi’s a Barcelona player.”
To prove that he is a die-hard fan of Ronaldo, the 80-year-old retired coach did not only ensure that the Portuguese football star return to Old Trafford when he decided to leave Juventus last summer, he hardly misses Manchester United home games since Ronaldo returned to the club.