Pep Guardiola on Ronaldo–Messi debate: 'I think Messi is on another level'

Sunday December 25th, 2016

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says Lionel Messi is "on another level" from other players—including Cristiano Ronaldo. 

Ronaldo recently won the Ballon d'Or, awarded to the best player in the world. Messi won the honor in 2015. 

Guardiola, who coached Messi at Barcelona from 2008–2012, was asked about Barcelona boss Luis Enrique's recent assertion that it was "ridiculous" to compare Messi to other players. 

"I agree with Luis. Messi is the best, he is definitely the best," Guardiola said. "He knows how to play, score and make the other players play. He is always there.

"With all the respect to all the players, first to Cristiano Ronaldo—congratulations to him for the award—I think Messi is on another level."

Planet Futbol
Watch: Neymar puts on a show, embarrasses opponent in Chapecoense charity match

In 2015, Ronaldo led Real Madrid to a Champions League title before helping Portugal win Euro 2016. Messi led Barcelona to the La Liga title. 

Guardiola's Manchester City will face Hull City on Monday. 

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide — from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Grant Wahl, Andy Staples and more — delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.