Steven Gerrard alters his view on Lionel Messi-Cristiano Ronaldo debate a year after firmly picking La Pulga

The Cristiano Ronaldo vs. Lionel Messi debate continues to rage even after so many years. Many former and current professionals have given their opinions on the matter over the years, with few actually changing their stance.

It seems that Steven Gerrard is one of them who has changed his opinion on the matter in recent times. The legendary Liverpool midfielder is currently the manager of Saudi Arabian side Al Ettifaq and has given his opinion again.

Steven Gerrard’s evolving take on football’s GOAT

Recently, Steven Gerrard was talking about the league’s growth in recent times with the official Saudi Premier League. There, he said that Cristiano Ronaldo was the ‘GOAT’, saying, “The arrival of ‘The GOAT’ as we call him, Cristiano, him arriving in January obviously was a huge signing.”

He praised Ronaldo’s influence, which has seen a lot of stars move to the Gulf nation. “I think from that moment on, the league around the world had become a very popular talking point for everyone. After Cristiano’s arrival, even more big-name signings, talents and skill sets were joining the league.”

GettyImages 1437745270 copy 1
via Al Jazeera

However, many have pointed out that the Englishman had a very different answer before. When he was the manager of Aston Villa, he was asked who was the ‘GOAT’ then. At the time, Messi played for Paris Saint-Germain, and Gerrard thought the Argentine had the better claim.

He said, “I think they’re both operating on a different planet to every footballer that’s ever lived, probably besides your Peles and your Maradonas.”

“But Messi, for me, is more of a team player. If he’s in on goal, he’ll look for a pass as well as obviously posting really, really good numbers individually as well.”

Since he initially chose Messi, the Argentine maestro has won a World Cup and a Ballon d’Or. And yet, Gerrard has mysteriously chosen Ronaldo over him now.

Steven Gerrard explains why Al Ettifaq signed Jordan Henderson

Steven Gerrard himself has brought many European players to his Al Ettifaq side, including former Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson. After 12 years at Liverpool, Henderson made the switch for a fee of £12 million, which earned him a lot of hate.

Gerrard was asked why he allowed the English midfielder to join the team. He said that it was due to them being teammates at Liverpool during the mid-2010s.

Steven Gerrard
via Liverpool Echo

“Myself and Jordan, we have that trust. We played together and he’s a fantastic player still, a fantastic human being. For us, to execute that signing was key and very important and I think a lot of the other signings we made came on the back of Jordan agreeing to come here.”

He also admitted that Jordan, who recently clashed with Cristiano Ronaldo, not getting enough minutes at Liverpool played a vital role in his desire to leave. And he jumped at the chance to sign him when that desire became open knowledge.

“And when we knew it was a possibility, I wanted to be aggressive and wanted that to be my first signing, because for me it was a no-brainer.”

As the international break is now over, Steven Gerrard will now manage Al Ettifaq in their next game against Al Ittihad on Friday.

Fazal Al Bashar

560 articles

Fazal is a passionate soccer aficionado, who when not discovering the latest soccer stories and rumors, indulges in playing FIFA all night. While he sucks at the sport, he knows the who and what in all things soccer-related.


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