The former Super Eagles captain played against both before calling time on a career that elevated him to one of Nigeria’s most successful footballers in history
Ex-Chelsea midfielder John Mikel Obi has revealed that he considers Argentine midfielder Lionel Messi a better player than Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo.
The debate about who is the better player between the iconic Portuguese forward and the former Barcelona magician is one of the most controversial in world football.
Regarded as two of the greatest players to ever grace a football pitch, Messi and Ronaldo have been at the peak of the beautiful game for more than a decade, winning countless awards and breaking innumerable records.
Still unstoppable at the age of 37, Ronaldo has scored 699 goals combined for Sporting Lisbon, Manchester United, Real Madrid, and Juventus and holds the record for most international goals (117).
Messi is not far behind, with the 34-year-old responsible for 681 goals in the colours of Barcelona and PSG, while he has found the back of the net 88 times when representing Argentina.
Collectively, the two superstars have won an astonishing 12 Ballon d’Or honours on top of several league titles and continental competitions.
While playing for Chelsea and Nigeria, Mikel Obi faced both Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi at senior and junior levels and is not in doubt of their unparalleled quality.
But when asked about his opinion on who the better player among the two is in a radio interview, Mikel said: “Messi.”
"Messi or Ronaldo?"
Mikel Obi: pic.twitter.com/g5Hc5j20Nz
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Mikel’s first encounter with Messi came at the FIFA under-20 World Youth Championship in 2005, where the Flying Eagles lost to Argentina in the final.
Mikel faced Messi again at the 2010 and 2014 World Cups, with Argentina coming out on top on both occasions.
The ex-Nigerian midfielder enjoyed a brilliant 17-year career, winning two Premier League titles, three FA Cups, one UEFA Champions League trophy, one UEFA Europa League crown, and also the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations at the international level.