Piers Morgan Insists Cristiano Ronaldo Is STILL The Greatest Of All Time Over Lionel Messi

Piers Morgan has continued to label Cristiano Ronaldo the greatest footballer of all time despite Lionel Messi’s sensational performances for Argentina, insisting that ‘one World Cup does not a GOAT make.’

Messi delivered yet another breathtaking display during Argentina’s 3-0 win against Croatia on Tuesday night, firing his nation into Sunday’s final and one match away from World Cup glory.

Rolling back the years with a masterful performance, the 35-year-old rocketed his first-half penalty past spot-kick specialist Dominik Livakovic before wondrously assisting Julian Alvarez’s second goal with a slaloming run beyond highly-rated youngster Josko Gvardiol.

As fans took to social media in droves to brand Messi as the best ever footballer, Morgan insisted Ronaldo was still the greatest of all time and defended his stance in an interview with talkSPORT on Wednesday.

Morgan said: ‘I thought Messi was absolutely sensational against Croatia. He’s one of the greatest players to ever play the game. The debate is, though, is he the greatest?

‘On that I will always put up a very passionate and quite forensic defence of Ronaldo. I think he deserves that title.

‘One World Cup does not a GOAT make. Messi hasn’t even won it yet!

‘When you look at the stats between Ronaldo and Messi, it’s important to remember Ronaldo is two years’ older.

‘It’s also important to remember that, unlike Messi who stayed in his Barcelona comfort blanket for 17 years, Ronaldo has won league titles in four different countries, including the three most competitive leagues in the world.

‘He’s taken himself out of comfort zones – he could have stayed at Real Madrid for most of his career if he wanted to, but he’s deliberately taken himself into new leagues and new challenges.

‘Whereas Messi, he’s only ever done it for Barcelona, and there all around him the entire time were the world’s greatest players. Ronaldo has often had to lead that line pretty much on his own.’

Following Messi’s rampant display on Tuesday, Gary Lineker asked on Twitter: ‘Is there still a debate? Asking for a goat.’

Moments later, the Talk TV host simply tweeted in reply: ‘There isn’t. It’s Ronaldo.’

One aspect of the World Cup that has continually irked Morgan is the persistent ‘fan-boying’ of Messi throughout the tournament.

‘I’ve been watching a lot of the Messi fan-boying and fan-girling during the World Cup, and I’ve been laughing,’ Morgan continued to tell talkSPORT.

‘OK, he’s having a good World Cup, but it’s the first one he’s turned up for!

‘If you stay at a team like Barcelona for the majority of your career and then you go to PSG and a very easy league like the French Ligue 1, are you really a better player over that period than somebody who has consistently won titles in three of the most competitive leagues there are? I’m not sure.

‘I love this debate because it winds people up, but the reality is they are two of the three greatest ever.

‘Diego Maradona, to me, is the greatest Argentine to ever play the game – Messi doesn’t even get that GOAT title.

‘If you look at career goals, Champions League goals, Ronaldo is way ahead. He’s better in the air, he’s better with both feet, albeit Messi has a left-foot wand.

‘I can rack up a pretty large sheet of facts which I think leads to the conclusion that not only is Ronaldo the GOAT, but Messi is only the second biggest GOAT from Argentina!

‘And I think France are going to win the World Cup and break Messi’s heart, anyway!

Morgan also revealed that Ronaldo once told him Messi was the best player he had ever seen live – but only because it was impossible to watch himself.

The television host explained: ‘I said to him, “Who’s the best player you’ve ever seen?”

‘He said, “Messi, but you’re asking the wrong question, you’re not asking me who is the best player”, because, of course, he has never seen himself play live.’

In a separate response to a question raised by Jeff Stelling on Twitter, Morgan claimed that Brazil legend Ronaldo could even rank above Messi in the greatest of all time debate.

‘I think Cristiano Ronaldo’s the best ever, Maradona second, Messi third (possibly fourth actually, behind R9),’ he proposed on social media.

Morgan, who has been a long-term admirer of the Portuguese superstar, conducted an explosive interview with Ronaldo last month, which led to the 37-year-old being axed by Manchester United.

During the tell-all conversation, Ronaldo comprehensively criticised his former club having fallen down the pecking order under new boss Erik ten Hag.

The forward lambasted the lack of change in Manchester United’s infrastructure since his first departure in 2009, slammed Ten Hag’s tactics and methods and referred to former team-mate Wayne Rooney as a ‘rat’.

As Ronaldo’s team prepares to find the star free agent a new home in January, Messi is one step closer to grasping the greatest prize football has to offer.

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