Sunday 17 November 2019

John Giles: Lionel Messi is no diver, no cheater and that's why he is the best

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo

Lionel Messi doesn't dive or cheat and that is a key factor in him being the world's best player, according to John Giles.

Brilliant Messi stole the show for Barcelona in their Champions League sem-final 3-0 win over Bayern Munich during the week to calim wordwide plaudits.

And writing in his Herald column today, Giles has given his opinion on why Messi is the best in the world, ahead of rival Cristiano Ronaldo.

"For me, that is the deciding factor. Above all, Messi is a team player. He's no diver, no cheater. He'll take a tackle and give one back. He's honest, professional and while I have no doubt that he has arrogance, it rarely manifests as anything other than supreme confidence," wrote Giles.

"The Messi/Ronaldo debate is to some degree, a flawed discussion. I believe Ronaldo is one of the true greats when it comes to scoring goals and finishing.

"He has never been less than professional in terms if fitness, preparation and to my knowledge, he has never been found lying in a lane after a night on the tiles.

"He is a scoring phenomenon and that is why he has so many admirers and so many who believe he is the best in the world. They voted for him ahead of Messi and everyone else twice in the last three years."

But, for Giles, Messi has a lot more to his armour.

"Messi scores as many goals and he also makes goals for those around him. He's been doing that for a decade with hardly a murmur about him other than a steady flow of praise.

"Ronaldo does not make the same contribution. It's all about him and a good camera shot after he rattles the net.

"I've no problem with that. When he's wearing your shirt, that's exactly what you want from him and because he can do it so often, his value is obvious."

Read more: Stephanie Roche: I have always preferred Ronaldo to Messi, but the Argentinian's brilliance is a joy to behold

Read more: James Lawton: The dismantling of Bayern confirms there is no system that can limit magic of Messi

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