Jamie Carragher is worried about the efforts of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi when he is out of possession, but he explained that the Manchester United star is making up for this.
Video not available
Jamie Carragher believes Cristiano Ronaldo operates at a higher level than Lionel Messi despite both players being “passengers without a ball”.
Ronaldo, 36, and Messi, 34, are entering the late stages of their careers and are no longer operating at the peak of their physical strength.
Manchester United striker Ronaldo continues to perform remarkable athletics and a constant supply of goals, but offers little in the way of pressure when he is out of possession.
The same is true of Paris Saint-Germains striker Messi, who is often seen walking around the pitch before breaking out into action in pockets of space when the ball is won back.
However, there is no doubt that Ronaldo has started the season in better shape compared to his long-term rival.
Who is the best player of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi? Say your opinion in the comments!
UEFA via Getty Images)
Despite criticism of his lack of pressure, the Portuguese icon has scored 10 goals and recorded two assists in 15 appearances in all tournaments.
The latest of those goals came against Villarreal on Tuesday as he produced yet another sensational late attack to put United on a winning course.
Messi, meanwhile, has four goals and an assist in 10 games, with injuries affecting his first months at PSG following his arrival from Barcelona this summer.
The Argentine captain endured a frustrating outcome and could not see much of the ball in the 2-0 defeat to Manchester City on Wednesday.
Carragher described Messi and other PSG strikers Neymar and Kylian Mbappe as “passengers” in a post-match disqualifying verdict.
The Liverpool hero is in no doubt that Ronaldo’s efforts to regain possession of the ball are also lacking, but he believes that his remarkable attacking performance has it – and that this sets him apart from Messi at the moment.
“I have also said this about Ronaldo, but Ronaldo gets at least goals,” Carragher said CBS Sport .
“Ronaldo is a passenger without a ball, his goal outweighs that at the moment.”
Although he has been impressed by Ronaldo and the Red Devils finished at the top of Group A to reach the quarter-finals, Carragher insists that United cannot lift the Champions League this season.
The former English defender claims it is impossible to win the competition with “passengers” on the team, so he also ruled out PSG being crowned European champions.
“In the Champions League matches, their (PSG) goal has certainly not made up for it tonight,” Carragher added.
“Unless you score, you carry passengers, and at this level of football you have no chance. Manchester United do not win the Champions League.”