Former England manager Fabio Capello believes Lionel Messi is more of a genius than Cristiano Ronaldo despite his current problems at Barcelona, according to Football Espana.
Speaking to COPE’s ‘El Partido de las 12’ programme, the former Real Madrid, Juventus, Roma and Milan boss, now in charge of the Russian national team, was also emphatic when asked if Barca should sell Messi.
“Messi is a greater player than Cristiano, although he is having a difficult time at his club right now and that can cause problems,” commented Capello.
“But how can you sell Messi? When you have this player…I saw him against Atletico and he started badly in the first few minutes, when he was out wide, and he didn’t like it.
“Then he woke up and had a great game. You can’t sell a player like that.”
The Italian also spoke of the clubs’ role in looking after their star players.
“The club is above Messi, Cristiano and everything else. They demand [something of you], pay you and will still be there when you’re gone.”
On Ronaldo’s award of a third Ballon d’Or this week, Capello was forthright and said it should have gone to Germany’s Manuel Neuer.
“In World Cup year the Ballon d’Or has to go to a World Cup winner and that was Neuer,” he said.
Meanwhile, Ronaldo was named the best player in the history of Portuguese football at the Gala Quinas de Ouro ceremony on Wednesday night.
The award was part of the commemorations to celebrate 100 years of the Portuguese Football Federation, which took place at the Casino de Estoril.
The Real Madrid superstar, who was unable to attend because of his club’s Copa del Rey clash with Atletico Madrid on Thursday, managed to beat off the challenge of legends Eusebio and Luis Figo in the voting.
As a result, it was his agent Jorge Mendes who collected the accolade in his honour, with both FIFA President Sepp Blatter and UEFA President Michel Platini there to see Ronaldo announced as the winner.