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And Manchester United legend Keane offered his verdict on Messi vs Ronaldo while taking up pundit duties for ITV during the 2018 World Cup.
The Portugal captain followed up his performance with a terrific header in his side's 1-0 victory over Morocco.
Keane, 49, admitted at the time Ronaldo was "on a new level" and he was "out there on his own" as the best player in the world.
The Irishman explained on ITV: "I think there has been a great debate about him [Ronaldo] and Messi, but over the last six months, I think he's on a new level -- Ronaldo's out there on his own.
"It's not natural ability, as brilliant as he is, it's sheer hard work. He's got a lot of courage, he's brave and the guy is a genius.
"I think his form over the last few months I'd have him above of Messi."
Messi fired a lacklustre Argentina to the World Cup competition in Russia after he scored a brilliant hat-trick in his side's 3-1 victory over Ecuador.
But the 2014 World Cup finalists struggled to impress in Russia and were dumped out of the round of 16 in a 4-3 defeat to France.
During Keane's appearance on ITV for the 2018 World Cup, Arsenal hero Ian Wright also backed Ronaldo ahead of Messi at the time of the tournament.
The 56-year-old pundit explained: "What he has proven going into the World Cup with the pressure he's under, this is his fourth World Cup, the way he's started, he has shown it's not just ability, its hard work. He's getting the fruits of all that work over the years.
"I think that with Ronaldo he's been in different leagues, out of his comfort zone. Ronaldo when he left Portugal, even at Manchester United, I remember he had a year where they said he can go back [but he wanted to stay and fight at Old Trafford].
"I think in years to come, we've been fortunate to watch both at the height of their powers, but in years to come I think Ronaldo will pinch it for me."
Featured Image Credit: PA/ITV
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