Argentine legend Lionel Messi and Portuguese maestro Cristiano Ronaldo are often termed two of the best players of their generation. Both have been at the top of the game for over two decades and have competed against each other at the highest levels.
There has been a long-standing debate as to who is the best of the two. While some say it’s Messi for his skills and his extraordinary approach to the game, others lean towards Cristiano for his hard work and determination to win.
This debate is not just bound to the fans as many celebrities have also joined this conversation time and time again. Let us take a look at the top 5 celebrities who support Messi and who support Ronaldo.
5 stars who support Lionel Messi
1. Kobe Bryant:
Kobe Bryant is widely known as one of the greatest basketball players of all time. He had won five NBA championships and was an 18-time All-Star. The star was also the NBA Finals MVP twice in his career.
He was known to be a huge Lionel Messi fan. Especially ever since he met the soccer sensation back in the early days of his career at a party along with his long-time friend and Brazil legend Ronaldinho. The basketball star met an untimely death along with his daughter and seven others in a helicopter crash in 2020, and the whole world mourned his passing.
In an interview just a couple of weeks before his death, Bryant termed Messi as one of the best athletes of all time. He said, “Messi is one of the best athletes of all time. His tenacity, intelligence with which he plays as well as his skill. It just puts his head and shoulders above the rest.”
2. Roger Federer
Tennis legend Roger Federer is one of the most popular sportspeople in the world. He is one of the greatest of all time and has won 20 Grand Slam titles in his career. The Swissman was ranked world No. 1 by ATP for a whopping 310 weeks in his career.
The tennis legend has often been vocal about his support for Lionel Messi. One such instance is in a 2019 interview with the Financial Times, where Federer opened up about his admiration for Messi.
He said, “What I love about Messi probably most is when he gets the ball and is able to turn the body towards goal, and then he has full vision. Then he’s going to pass, or dribble, or shoot. There are always three options for him. He’s one of the few who’s got that.”
3. Pope Francis:
The Bishop of Rome and the head of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis, is also a known Lionel Messi fan. Back in 2016, the Pope hailed Messi as the best player in the sport’s history.
While talking to the young men and women who participated in World Youth Day six years ago, the Pope claimed that the former Barcelona star is better than Pele and Diego Maradona. He said, “For me, Messi is better than Maradona and Pele.”
4. Zlatan Ibrahimovic
The former Swedish and AC Milan star Zlatan Ibrahimovic is another huge admirer of the Argentine soccer legend. Both have been teammates during Zlatan’s time at FC Barcelona.
The player is often heard to praise the FC Barcelona legend for being the best in the world. In an interview, when asked who, according to him, is the best in the history of the sport, he said, “I think Messi is one of a kind. I don’t think we’ll see another player do the things he does.”
5. Pep Guardiola
Often termed one of the best managers of modern-day soccer, Pep Guardiola has been one of the biggest supporters of Lionel Messi over the years. It was under his management in Barcelona that Messi outclassed everyone and became one of the greatest to ever play the game.
Pep is often heard praising his former student. The current Manchester City manager was once asked if he was the reason why Leo flourished in the trade. To this, the manager replied, “I tried making Messi the best player in the world, but he ended up making me one of the best managers.”
5 stars who support Cristiano Ronaldo
1. Virat Kohli
Widely known as one of the greatest batsmen of his generation, former Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli is a known Cristiano Ronaldo fan. The star is heard talking highly about his idol as he says he is very inspired by the Portuguese star’s dedication towards the sport and the hard work that he puts in day in and day out.
Back in 2022, Kohli hailed Ronaldo as the greatest in his social media post. The former Indian captain said, “No trophy or any title can take anything away from what you’ve done in this sport and for sports fans around the world. No title can explain the impact you’ve had on people and what I and so many around the world feel when we watch you play. That’s a gift from god.”
The post further read, “A real blessing to a man who plays his heart out every single time and is the epitome of hard work and dedication and a true inspiration for any sportsperson. You are for me the greatest of all time.”
2. Rafael Nadal
Tennis Star Rafael Nadal is one of the most well-known names in the sport. Nadal has reportedly always been a big soccer fan. The player has often been vocal about his support for the five-time Ballon d’Or winner.
The tennis star has always been appreciative of the former Real Madrid star’s drive and desire to improve. After Ronaldo won the 2014 Ballon d’Or, Nadal greeted him with a heart-touching video.
In the video, Rafael said, “I want to congratulate you on the year you’ve had. I consider your drive and desire to improve on a daily basis a fantastic example for the younger generations.”
3. Anthony Joshua
Anthony Joshua is an English professional boxer. The boxer is said to be one of the best heavyweight boxers of recent times. Joshua has won the WBA Super, WBO, IBO, and IBF titles twice in five years between 2016 and 2021. Joshua also won the gold medal for his country at the 2012 Olympics.
The 33-year-old boxer is said to be a huge fan of Ronaldo. Joshua considers the soccer star to be one of his biggest inspirations and he has been very open about this.
In an interview, Joshua talked about how Ronaldo inspired him. He said, “Ronaldo is the Don. It’s just little things. He would train by himself afterward to work on what he wanted to work on. I was speaking to Rio Ferdinand who said he was the only one in the team back then who had masseuses, nutritionists, psychologists, so he had that desire.”
Often termed the King of the sport, Pele is one of the most storied players of all time. The Brazilian legend won three World Cups, the most by an individual, and is also one of the top goal-scorers.
The Black Pearl of Brazil has often talked about how he found Ronaldo to be a better player than Messi. In an interview in 2020, Pele was asked about his view on the best player of the generation of players. To this, he replied, “Today the best player in the world is Cristiano Ronaldo. I think he’s the best because he’s more consistent, but you can’t forget about [Lionel] Messi, of course, but he’s not a striker.”
5. Sir Alex Ferguson
Often termed the greatest English manager and one of the best managers of his generation, Sir Alex Ferguson was the person who brought Cristiano Ronaldo to Manchester United back in 2003. He was first scouted by the manager in a friendly match between Manchester United and Sporting Lisbon.
Sir Alex has been one of the biggest supporters of the Portuguese star. It was under his management that Ronaldo came to the club as a kid and left the club in 2008 as one of the best players in the world.
The English manager has always been supportive of Ronaldo in the GOAT debate and has said many times that he kept Ronaldo a step ahead of Messi. Back in 2015, he was asked in an interview about his opinion on who is better. Ferguson replied to this with proper reasoning. He said, “People say ‘Who is the best player in the world?’ And plenty of people quite rightly say Messi – you can’t dispute that opinion.”
He then continued, “But Ronaldo could play for Millwall, Queens Park Rangers, Doncaster Rovers… anyone, and score a hat-trick in a game. I’m not sure Messi could do it. Ronaldo’s got two feet, he’s quick, great in the air, he’s brave – Messi’s brave, of course. I think Messi’s a Barcelona player.”