London: Diego Maradona believes the debate over which player is better out of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo is flawed as the pair are equally matched.
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Inset: Diego Maradona
The two best players in world football have again showcased their talismanic qualities this season, with Messi netting 53 goals in all competitions for Barcelona and Ronaldo scoring one more for Real Madrid.
As a result both players are often compared, but Maradona says the argument is futile, but did point to the Portugal international's greater threat from outside the box.
"It's not the case that Messi is better than Ronaldo or Ronaldo is better than Messi. I think they are at the same level," Maradona told Sky Sports.
"Cristiano is a predator in front of goal. You can't let Cristiano shoot from anywhere in the opposition half. Goalkeepers are scared of him. You have to be honest, goalkeepers are scared of Cristiano. They are not so scared of Messi in those areas because he doesn't have the same power as Cristiano.
"Cristiano is an incredible professional. I think at this present time he is right up there at Messi's level."