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Two third of former professional footballers say Cristiano Ronaldo has had a better career than longtime rival Lionel Messi

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Two third of former professional footballers believe Cristiano Ronaldo has had a better career than Lionel Messi amid a long-running debate about who’s better between them.

In a survey of ex-pros conducted by The Athletic, two-thirds of respondents claim that they believe the Manchester United forward has had the superior career of the pair.

The respondents appeared to favour Ronaldo’s achievements in the game when comparing the two directly, however, the former professionals preferred Messi as a hypothetical teammate.

Nearly three-quarters of those surveyed said that they would have preferred to play alongside former Barcelona great as opposed to his Portuguese counterpart.

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The only major trophy still alluding to the two stars is the World Cup, and both men will be trying to get their hands on the trophy at the 2022 World cup in Qatar.

The survey also provided a variety of interesting insights regarding how former players view the game.

57 per cent of those surveyed believed that the standard of officiating has improved since their playing days.

In addition to this, just over half of respondents believed that the life of a football was more difficult today compared to when they were active professionals, with social media cited as the most common response as to why life is harder for footballers now.

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