But when he pushed his personal preference into the endless debate by comparing the two attackers – not surprisingly – the Portuguese player opted for his compatriot Ronaldo.
“You can love Messi more than Ronaldo or you can love Pelé more than any other player. I didn’t see Pelé play, so I can’t say he was the greatest player in the world, “said Fernandes.
“For me, Cristiano is the best I have ever seen. “
Speaking to Soccer Dial’s “Dial Up” podcast, Fernandes concluded that while the choice between former La Liga rivals is ultimately subjective, they both deserve major respect.
“Messi and Cristiano are the best. You can’t say they are not the best players in the world, “he said.
Fernandes continued, “You may prefer one or the other. “
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“Italians may like someone like Pirlo, English may like Beckham more, you have a choice, but what these two players [Messi and Ronaldo] have done for football is awesome.
“Cristiano is a Portuguese like me, I must appreciate him. He is the best for me. ”
As with Ronaldo, Fernandes had a very promising fate at Sporting Lisbon in his home country before completing his transfer to United.
Fernandes’s response will be good with regard to his current club, as Ronaldo entered the elite under the watchful eye of Sir Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford.
But Messi may be on the verge of reclaiming headlines this weekend as he nears scoring his 700 e goal for the club and the country.
To watch the full episode, follow @soccerbible on Instagram or visit www.soccerbible.com.