A file photo combination of Juventus star, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Barcelona playmaker, Lionel Messi.
Former Super Eagles skipper, Joseph Yobo says he prefers Barcelona star, Lionel Messi over Cristiano Ronaldo, describing the Argentine as a “genius.”
Ronaldo and Messi, who have been one of football’s greatest rivals for over a decade, faced off in the Spanish La Liga between 2009 and 2018.
Either of the two has won eleven out of the last twelve Ballon D’or awards, with fans and pundits alike divided on who is the greater.
And Yobo who is the Assistant Coach of the Super Eagles is pitching his tenth with Messi whom he said never left people in doubt as to his potentials when he started playing the game.
The former Everton man spoke on Monday in an Instagram live chat with Channels TV, saying the 2005 U-20 World Cup winner is naturally talented.
While Ronaldo is a great footballer who has over the years trained himself to become one of the best in the game, Yobo said he would pick Messi ahead of the former Manchester United forward.
“I have played against him [Messi] a couple of times and knew that he was one player who could become invisible when he was there,” he said. “Ronaldo, we have to also give him credit because he built himself to who he is today. I played against him in England; he wasn’t the Ronaldo of today.
“But Messi, people have seen his talent from when he came on board. So, he is a special player. Messi, basically, is a genius. He is just a genius.”
Yobo added that he fears that it would take many years before a footballer like Messi emerges, stressing also that the game won’t remain the same when the duo retire.
He said: “I don’t know if in football we would see another player like Messi in many years to come. I hope so. Another fear that I have is: when Messi and Ronaldo leave the stage, what happens to football?”
While admitting that Ronaldo and Messi are “unique players,” he restated that he “will pick Messi” over the Portugal captain.