Real Madrid player Toni Kroos appears to have performed a stark U-turn in the ongoing greatest debate between Cristiano Ronaldo and World Cup winner Lionel Messi.
Ronaldo and Messi are generally regarded as all-time greats and, perhaps, the two best players to have ever laced up football boots. However, by finally getting his hands on the golden trophy this Sunday afternoon, has Argentina captain Messi ended that age-old comparison?
Manchester United was home to Ronaldo for two spells before his acrimonious departure last month. After opting to leave for the first time in 2009, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner signed for Real – and somehow managed to scale even greater heights there than he managed across six initial seasons at Old Trafford.
Connections to United and Madrid usually result in “voting” for Ronaldo when asked to choose between those two players, but Kroos has seemingly changed his stance after watching Messi inspire Argentina to victory in Qatar with several jaw-dropping and match-winning displays.
The 35-year-old won ‘Player of the Tournament’ as well as the biggest team prize in the game.
Speaking previously about Ronaldo, meanwhile, former teammate Kroos said: “From my playing days, it’s Cristiano Ronaldo [the best player in history]. I’m biased because he made a decisive contribution to us winning a lot of titles.
“It was exciting and impressive to play alongside Ronaldo. We were not only teammates, but also neighbours in the dressing room and in private.
“He lived right next to me. That’s why it is forbidden for me to name Messi.”
Kroos, who spent four terms alongside Ronaldo in the Spanish capital, was pressed on THE debate after Germany were eliminated from the World Cup. And in that, the midfielder broke his previously “forbidden” rule.
He added: “[Messi] deserves it. In terms of individual performances in a championship, I’ve never seen a footballer play as regularly as this guy, you have to take into account that he has never played for clubs that I find very funny, something that proves I mean it.”