Steven Gerrard, former Liverpool captain and current Al-Ettifaq manager, has changed his mind and said that Cristiano Ronaldo is the best player of all time.
It’s an argument that has raged for the better part of two decades within the confines of football, and Steven Gerrard is the latest to weigh in.
Which player is better, Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo? Some believe that your answer to this question alone can serve as the foundation for your entire football perspective.
Messi aficionados will be dismayed by Gerrard’s latest words, in which he appears to insinuate that, in his opinion, Ronaldo conquers all.
Gerrard complimented the effect of the five-time Ballon d’Or winner while waxing lyrical about the Saudi top flight given his situation as manager of Al-Ettifaq and adding that the division is on everyone’s lips at the moment.
“The arrival of ‘The GOAT’ as we call him, Cristiano, him arriving in January obviously was a huge signing,” Gerrard told the Saudi Pro League. “He still had a lot of football to offer.
“So, from afar, for six months, I was looking in at Cristiano Ronaldo’s results, at the league, watching some games and watching some highlights. I think from that moment, the league around the world had become a very popular talking point for everyone. After Cristiano’s arrival, even more big-name signings, talents and skill sets were joining the league.”
The remarks are clearly complimentary and will be well received at Ronaldo HQ. Gerrard, on the other hand, is currently singing a far different song than he did in April of last year.
Back in Messi’s PSG days, Gary Neville of the Overlap YouTube channel questioned Gerrard where he stood on the ‘GOAT’ argument, when the Liverpool icon was still in charge of Aston Villa and a Saudi move was not on his radar.
Gerrard claimed that Messi was still better than Ronaldo, telling Neville: “I think they’re both operating on a different planet to every footballer that’s ever lived, probably besides your Peles and your Maradonas.
“But Messi, for me, is more of a team player. If he’s in on goal, he’ll look for a pass as well as obviously posting really, really good numbers individually as well.”
Messi has now won the World Cup and turned down a move to Saudi Arabia in favor of a life in the United States with Inter Miami.
In comparison, Gerrard and Ronaldo have both established themselves in the Middle East, making it easy to understand why the Liverpool veteran may suddenly be singing the former Real Madrid man’s tune.