‘Messi is the street, Ronaldo is the gym’

Jorge Valdano has discussed football’s development and sees the gym in Cristiano Ronaldo and the street in Lionel Messi.

Valdano has a new book in which he considers modern football and was asked about comments made by Manuel Pellegrini, who said the best League is the Premier League but the best football is in La Liga.

“It was a diplomatic effort, because if the best football is played, then that’s the best League. The rest is packaging, marketing, impeccable stadiums, very good organisation, issues that aren’t to do with playing,” he noted, AS reports.

“In Spain, don’t look at what was done well yesterday if not 10 years ago, with a revolution that has a name and a surname, tiki taka, which created a new world where the ball is the formative centre of the player. And in collective skill, Spain has a vast superiority.

“I’ve been in Spain over 30 years and for a long time I was the only world champion. Suddenly they’ve mushroomed. It brought status to the Spanish player, self-esteem, began to feel like leaders and the equals of any players in the world.

“In Spain the revolution was mostly technical. Very small players have been admitted, when in another era they would have had problems and that’s a sign of evolution, that what’s measured is the size of the talent.

“Ronaldo is the player of the 21st century. Messi is from the street and Ronaldo the gym. He has more mechanical movements, more robotic. It starts with the ability to give the ball to a shirt of the same colour. For that, whether you’re big or small is indifferent.

“The struggle between opposites is very entertaining and will never end. It’s as old as football and in 50 years there’ll be other names.”

Tags Cristiano Ronaldo Jorge Valdano Lionel Messi