‘Cristiano an athlete, Messi a God’

Koke has joined the debate over who is the world’s greatest footballer – Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi?

The Atletico Madrid midfielder gave an interview to Onda Cero during which he was asked his opinion on the two players and who was the best.

“They are both fantastic footballers. Cristiano is an athlete, while Messi is a God, and what they do on a football pitch is spectacular.

“Lionel is very difficult to mark and I’d always want him on my team, the same as Ronaldo, but I think I’d go with Messi,” said Koke, who could have been a teammate of the Argentine star if he had accepted an offer from Barcelona this summer.

“I have to thank Barca and other teams for showing an interest in me but I’m happy to stay with Atleti.

“I’ve been here all my life and it was not the time to go. We’ve won lots of trophies and the club is growing, as are the players, so why would I want to leave at the best time ever for Atletico Madrid?” he asked.

The 22-year-old also spoke of former clubmate Diego Costa’s integration into the Spain squad ahead of the Euro 2016 qualifiers against Slovakia and Luxembourg.

“He’s a player who can get goals and when the first one arrives I’m sure there will be more to follow. In England he is scoring and it’s been good for him to go there.

“Now he’s here with us and we must look for him because with his movement he creates one-on-one situations with the goalkeeper,” was Koke’s analysis.

Finally, he acknowledged his admiration for fellow midfielder Xavi Hernandez.

“Xavi has meant everything to the national team. He’s someone who has won everything with Barcelona and his country.

“I hope I can achieve half of what he has but I’ve got a long way to go. There’s a lot of hard work for me to do. However, in the end Xavi is Xavi and Koke is Koke,” he added.

Tags Cristiano Ronaldo Koke Messi