‘Messi is a freak but Ronaldo the most complete player’ – India icon Kohli weighs into greatest debate

Virat Kohli is a superstar in his own right, with the India captain an iconic figure in the world of cricket, and he has had his say on the Lionel Messi versus Cristiano Ronaldo debate.

A man who would likely figure in any discussions regarding the finest batsmen of all time has been charged with the task of picking the greatest between two eternal rivals from a different sport.

Kohli is a big fan of football, with inspiration taken from those who set the same standards as he does and seek to always raise the bar of individual excellence.

Messi and Ronaldo certainly fall into that category having shared 10 Ballons d’Or and countless records between them.

Choosing a favourite is a thankless task, with both boasting serious claims to the greatest of all time tag, but Kohli says Portuguese power trumps Argentine flair for him.

He told The Times of India: “Tough question. But I would say Cristiano is the most complete player that I have seen.

“Whether it's the left foot, right foot, speed or dribbling skills, he's amazing. I have not seen a better goalscorer.

“He revolutionised the sport and everyone followed him. His place is special, but if I had to take only one in my team who will give energy and intensity, it's Cristiano.”

Virat Kohli

While placing himself in Team Ronaldo, Kohli concedes that Barcelona forward Messi is a special talent and one that sits only fractionally behind a Juventus frontman in his eyes.

Kohli added: “It's a personal preference. Messi is a freak, absolute natural talent, and his ability is second to none.

“For me, what stands out is the ability or the will to put in the effort in every single minute of the game.

“Ronaldo's drive separates him from everyone else. Playing at the top level, everyone has talent, but I don't think anyone has the will that he has.”

Messi edged his latest battle with Ronaldo, as he landed the FIFA Best award for 2019, but both will soon be back chasing down another Golden Ball along with domestic and European crowns with their respective clubs.