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'Nobody Comes Close': Messi Better Than Ronaldo, Mbappe, Salah, Iniesta And Mane Put Together - van Nistelrooy   
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Messi has won five Ballon d'Or awards and has been shortlisted for the accolade again for 2019
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Manchester United legend Ruud van Nistelrooy has claimed 'nobody comes close' to Lionel Messi as the best footballer in the world.

Messi has made the 2019 shortlist for the Ballon d'Or award - an accolade he has picked up five times in his career - and van Nistelrooy believes he is the only player who deserves the prestigious honour. 

'There is no-one who is at his level, he seems to play like a Playstation player', the former Holland striker told Sport.

'Nobody comes close to Messi. Tell me who... Cristiano (Ronaldo) is a goal scorer, (Andres) Iniesta is a brain, (Mohamed) Salah, (Sadio) Mané, (Eden) Hazard and (Kylian) Mbappé are excellent players, but Messi is all that together.'

The comment may come as a surprise to anyone familiar with van Nistelrooy's career, as he played alongside Messi's rival Cristiano Ronaldo at both Manchester United and Real Madrid.

Back in September, Messi won the Men's Player of the Year at FIFA's The Best awards - getting one-up on the Dutchman's old team mate Ronaldo and Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk.

Ruud van Nistelrooy had a long and successful career across European football in which he scored 324 goals in 515 competitive matches. 

The 43-year-old is now the coach for PSV Eindhoven's under-19's team. The former striker spent three seasons at Eredivisie club between 1998 and 2001 before making his £25million move to Manchester United.

He is best known for his time at Old Trafford where he scored a total of 98 Premier League goals in 150 appearances; narrowly missing out on the illustrious '100 club'. 

van Nistelrooy also held a very impressive Champions League record with 56 goals and 14 assists in 73 matches. He is the fifth highest scorer in the history of the competition - behind Karim Benzema, Raul, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. 

Messi is currently on 112 goals in the competition, 15 goals behind the all-time highest goalscorer Ronaldo. 

The winner of the 2019 Ballon d'Or award will be announced on December 2nd.
Source: Dailymail.co.uk

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