Mario Balotelli has defended saying that Cristiano Ronaldo could not compare to Lionel Messi.
“They’re the two best, but they’re not the same.”Balotelli caused controversy when he made the comment during Barcelona’s 3-0 win against Liverpool in the Champions League semi-finals last night, and the Italy international went live on social media to justify himself.
“If we’re talking statistically, they’re the same,” explained the Olympique Marseille striker.
“But as someone who played against both, I can say that in my opinion Messi is out of this world, embarrassing. You can never get the better of him.
“In terms of quality, Messi is better than everyone. I’m convinced that if you ask a defender if they would rather play against Messi or Ronaldo, they would have no doubts.
“Messi and Ronaldo are two phenomena, true, but they’re not the same. If there was no Messi, Ronaldo would be the best in the world.
“I have a lot of respect for him, for how he trains, and it’s pleasure to watch him play and see how he managed to work on his body.
“Then people take it out on me and say I don’t know what I’m talking about… We’re talking about the two best players in the world.
“Ronaldo touched the ball three times against Atletico and scored three goals, but that’s his strength.
“Yesterday Messi decided the match against Liverpool. I leave the statistics to journalists, but it’s like comparing Maradona and Pele.
“Pele scored more goals than Maradona, but when Maradona touched the ball he was something else.”