Fabio Capello enters Lionel Messi v Cristiano Ronaldo debate

Messi Close Up

Former England manager believes Barcelona superstar is superior to Real Madrid net-buster.

"Cristiano Ronaldo is a powerful player, with very good technique, but he does not possess the pure technical skill of Lionel Messi."

That is the opinion of former England boss Fabio Capello, himself a two-time Madrista having bossed the Real team for one season in 1996-97 and another in 2006-07, who was speaking to AS about who is the superior footballer between the consensus top two players in the modern era.

Capello's choice may be an unpopular one.

While 27-year-old Messi has shown extraordinary ability in front of goal in La Liga and the Champions League having scored seven times in the former and twice in the latter, he has managed to repeat those same statistics when it comes to assists.

In terms of pure attacking efficiency - goals plus assists divided by minutes played - the Barcelona forward creates a goal or scores one once every 59 minutes he is on the field, on average.

Ronaldo, 29, has been far more prolific as he has netted an extraordinary 16 times, with one assist also provided in domestic duty, while adding three goals and one further assist in the Champions League.

This equates to producing a goal or assist once every 46 minutes on average.

Capello, who once tried to sign Messi on loan in 2005, when he was at Juventus, continued: "Ronaldo and Messi are two extraordinary players but they are different.

"Leo Messi is a very difficult player to play against. When I saw Messi play I knew he was special. I could see that he could do things that didn't occur to other players."

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