Piers Morgan insists Cristiano Ronaldo is still the GOAT, says Lionel Messi is fourth-best ever
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Piers Morgan has controversially placed Cristiano Ronaldo, Diego Maradona and the Brazilian Ronaldo ahead of Lionel Messi in his GOAT rankings after the latter dropped a masterclass in Tuesday night's World Cup semi-final.
The 35-year-old forward notched a goal and an assist as Argentina strolled past Croatia to reach the World Cup final.
And after the full-time whistle, the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner revealed that Sunday's game against either France or Morocco will be his last in an Argentina shirt.
"I am very happy for finishing my journey in World Cups in a final, to play the last game in a final. That is really very gratifying," he said.
Messi added: "Everything I lived in this World Cup has been emotional, seeing how much it has been enjoyed in Argentina.
"There are a lot of years from this year to the next one. I don't think I will be able to do that. To finish this way is brilliant."
Despite being past his so-called 'prime' years, Messi continues to be labelled the best player in world football by many.
That being said, journalist and TV personality Piers Morgan thinks he doesn't even make the top three.
After the full-time whistle on Tuesday night, Soccer Saturday host Jeff Stelling asked: "So where are we now @piersmorgan in the Ronaldo v Messi debate?"
Morgan then responded: "I think Cristiano Ronaldo’s the best ever, Maradona 2nd, Messi 3rd (possibly 4th actually, behind R9)."
I think Cristiano Ronaldo’s the best ever, Maradona 2nd, Messi 3rd (possibly 4th actually, behind R9). https://t.co/hg58A9lqhb— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) December 13, 2022
Morgan, who recently conducted a tell-all interview with Cristiano Ronaldo, has stated on numerous occasions that the former Manchester United and Real Madrid forward is the greatest of all time.
Although a tweet from 2012 suggests he used to think Messi was the GOAT.
On December 9, 2012, he wrote: "My top 10 greatest footballers: 1) Messi 2) @Cristiano 3) Maradona 4) Pele 5) Best 6) Cruyff 7) Zidane 8) Bergkamp 9) Henry 10) Ronaldo."
Months before the above post and Ronaldo's former teammate, Wayne Rooney, penned a tweet saying: "Messi is a joke. For me the best ever."
Ten years later and the current D.C United boss responded to his own suggestion, saying: "Nothing has changed."
Ahead of the World Cup in Qatar, Rooney picked Argentina as his favourites to win the tournament and named Lionel Messi as the best player of all time.
In an interview with The Times, he said Lionel Scaloni's side are the team to beat.
He said: “For me, Argentina are the favourites. Unlike in 2018, they have plenty of good, solid players around Lionel Messi such as Lautaro Martínez, Leandro Paredes, Rodrigo De Paul and of course Angel Di Maria.
“Winning the Copa America last year will have given them confidence and has taken a bit of pressure off them. The climate will suit them too. The only thing they are missing is a No 9, that focal point in attack, but I think they will be really dangerous.”
He was also asked if winning the World Cup will make Messi the greatest player of all time.
“Everyone has different views on Messi and Ronaldo but I have said many times that I think Messi is the best," Rooney said.
“I have watched lots of videos of Diego Maradona, who was a similar player, but Messi is better. He has everything — the way he controls games, his dribbling, his assists — whereas Ronaldo is more of a goalscorer.”
He added: “It would be a great story for football if either Messi or Ronaldo won the World Cup. I have heard some of the Argentine players saying that they want to win it for Messi. That’s crazy — and might only increase the pressure on them.”