Lionel Messi would have won 15 Ballon d'Or awards by now if he had the same work ethic as Cristiano Ronaldo, according to Patrice Evra.
The Messi-Ronaldo rivalry continues to divide fans and pundits alike, despite Messi becoming a World Cup winner with Argentina at Qatar 2022, with former Manchester United defender Evra picking his former team-mate over the Paris Saint-Germain star. Ronaldo's second stint at United ended when his contract was terminated in November, and he now plies his trade in the Saudi Pro League with Al-Nassr, but Evra still believes he should be considered above Messi in football's list of all-time greats.
The United legend said while appearing on Rio Ferdinand's YouTube channel FIVE: "I want to explain why I say Ronaldo every time. It's not because he's our brother it's because I'm in love with work ethic. I feel like Messi, god just gave him a talent and Cristiano had to work for it. He had the talent but he had to work for it. If Messi had the same work ethic as Ronaldo, he would probably have like 15 Ballon d'Ors today. I'm just in love with people working hard so that's why I pick Ronaldo over Messi."
After guiding Argentina to their third global crown in Qatar, Messi is being tipped to win a record-extending eighth Ballon d'Or. The 35-year-old was been crowned the best men's player at the 2022 The Best FIFA Awards, but has since suffered Champions League heartbreak at PSG, who were dumped out of the 2022-23 edition of the tournament at the last-16 stage after a 3-0 aggregate loss to Bayern Munich. Ronaldo, meanwhile, has won five Ballon d'Or awards over the course of his career, with glittering spells taken in at United, Real Madrid and Juventus, but the 38-year-old is not expected to challenge for the award again after heading to Saudi Arabia.
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