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Cristiano Ronaldo Will ‘Always Have The Upper Hand’ Over Lionel Messi, Says Current Star

Cristiano Ronaldo Will ‘Always Have The Upper Hand’ Over Lionel Messi, Says Current Star

Cristiano Ronaldo will always have the upper hand over Lionel Messi due to the "big difference" between what they've achieved.

That's the strongly-held opinion of Leon Bailey, the 23-year-old Bayer Leverkusen star whose own return to form this season has put him back on the shopping list of many top European clubs.

Why Ronaldo ranks above his rival in Bailey's view is simple: Messi has spent too long at Barcelona and never proven himself with different teams or in different leagues.

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"I think he [Messi] has been at one club for too long," Bailey told ESPN.

"The big difference between Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi is Cristiano Ronaldo has done great things in different teams and that's what makes him great.

"Obviously they are two great players but Ronaldo will always have that upper hand."

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The Jamaica international added that, while he believes Messi has more natural ability than the Juventus forward, Ronaldo is a lot more successful in his eyes.

"I believe Messi is more talented when it comes to [pure] talent than Cristiano," Bailey explained.

"But when it comes to more success, I would give that to Ronaldo 100 times."

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The 36-year-old Ronaldo does lead Messi in terms of Champions League victories, five to four. But Messi has won more league campaigns: 10 La Liga triumphs compared to Ronaldo's seven league titles.

However Ronaldo's haul of domestic trophies have been won across three clubs, as he's proved himself in the Premier League with Manchester United, La Liga with Real Madrid and in Serie A with Juve.

So clearly winger Bailey, scorer of nine goals in 23 games this season, believes that Ronaldo proving himself in three very different leagues - four if we include his breakthrough with Sporting CP - is more impressive than Messi's consistent success at one club.

In terms of individual awards, both have an absolute wealth and no other player can match their Ballon d'Or totals of six (Messi) and five (Ronaldo).

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Many players list Messi as the greatest of this - or perhaps any - generation, due to his almost superhuman skill.

But Ronaldo's desire to prove himself at different clubs is often held up as an edge over Messi, who's only ever played for Barcelona.

Do you agree with Bailey than this gives Ronaldo the upper hand in the GOAT debate? Let us know in the comments.

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All imagery: PA Images

Topics: Football, Barcelona, Lionel Messi, Juventus, Leon Bailey, Cristiano Ronaldo

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Alex Reid

Alex Reid is a writer at SPORTbible who’s previously strung words together for FourFourTwo, Boxing News, The Guardian and, yes, Cruise International (it’s about big ships, not Tom). Interests range from football and boxing to real sports like WWE and darts. He is not a cage fighter.