Ronaldo’s impact on the Saudi Pro League has seemingly changed Gerrard’s stance on the GOAT debate.
The legendary rivalry between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi has fueled debates among football enthusiasts for nearly two decades.
Both superstars are now in the final parts of their careers, joining clubs in Saudi Arabia and the United States. But the debate around who is the greatest footballer of all time still continues, with factors such as longevity and influence being added to the traditional factors to compare the former Barcelona and Real Madrid stars.
In an interview with the Saudi Pro League website, Al Ittifaq manager Steven Gerrard said of Ronaldo: “The arrival of ‘The GOAT’ as we call him, Cristiano, him arriving in January obviously was a huge signing. He still had a lot of football to offer.”
This contradicts Gerrard’s past comments on the GOAT debate, as he had previously chosen Messi as the greatest footballer of all time.
In a conversation with Gary Neville on the Overlap YouTube Channel, Gerrard said last year: “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.”