Zlatan Ibrahimovic gave hugely controversial answer to the Lionel Messi/Cristiano Ronaldo debate
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Sporting debates are never easy to settle. Whether it be Jordan v LeBron, Schumacher v Hamilton, or in this case, Messi v Ronaldo.
The diminutive Argentine may have one-upped his great rival by winning the World Cup in Qatar in 2022, but in the opinion of Cristiano Ronaldo fans, it isn't enough of an achievement to be considered the GOAT. While this debate will rumble on for years and decades to come, one player has risked incurring the wrath of fans the world over by chiming in with his antagonistic opinion on the matter.
Former Manchester United and Barcelona forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic isn't one to shy away from controversial topics, and that was on full display once again when he was asked to pick between Lionel Messi and Ronaldo.
The 41-year-old, who is now retired, stated: "The only thing Ronaldo is ahead of Messi is the age". Cue instant fume on social media.
Chelsea fan Frank Khalid stirred the pot on social media by sharing the quotes without context, and it predictably brought out the Ronaldo fans en mass.
One of the most liked replies read: "I've never seen a more jealous and egoist player than Ibrahimovic. Solomon Kalou had a better career than this fraud." Yikes.
Another added: "Zlatan is only jealous that all and he can never achieve what Cristiano Ronaldo has achieved in the world of football."
A third person weighed in with: "Zlatan is turning out to be a comedian, he needs to respect CR7!"
However, not everyone in the replies merely went after the Swede. Instead, some spoke in defence of what he said, stating that Messi's World Cup triumph essentially ended the debate over who is the greatest of all time.
One user replied with: "Messi ended the debate. Nothing to talk about anymore", with a second saying "Zlatan is not wrong".
In the opinion of some, Ibra's comments actually speak to a hidden agenda against Ronaldo, rather than him just giving his objective opinion.
Indeed, many in the replies pointed this out, tracing it back in a World Cup Qualifier in 2013.
According to the theorists, the origin of the Ronaldo-Ibra beef goes back to a clash between Portugal and Sweden, where a CR7 hat-trick that night prevented the Scandinavians from qualifying for the 2014 World Cup.
"Never thought a performance can rattle ur mental peace for 9 years", one person wrote on Twitter.
Whatever the truth behind the matter, this certainly won't be the last we hear from Ibrahimovic on the legendary duo.
Indeed, it is a debate which continues to split ex-footballers right down the middle, as stats, trophies and legacies get compared ad-nauseam.
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