Cristiano Ronaldo better than Lionel Messi, says Zinedine Zidane

Newly appointed manager of Real Madrid Zinedine Zidane hands a bib to Cristiano Ronaldo during a Real Madrid training session
Image: Zinedine Zidane says Cristiano Ronaldo is the best player in the world

Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane believes Cristiano Ronaldo is the best player in the world - ahead of Lionel Messi.

The pair's combined career goal tally recently passed 1,000, with Ronaldo firing 30 goals in 31 appearances in all competitions for club and country this season.

But with the debate about the best player in the world continuing to rumble on, Zidane was clear about who he thinks takes the plaudits. 

"Cristiano Ronaldo is the best," Zidane told Record Mexico.

"People can say what they like about Cristiano Ronaldo, but in his heart he's a good person. Messi is the rival and that rivalry is great for the footballing spectacle, it's what the fans want to see."

Lionel Messi takes a free kick
Image: Zidane describes the Ronaldo-Messi rivalry as 'great for the footballing spectacle'

Zidane is yet to lose a game as Real Madrid boss, with four wins and one draw coming from his five games in charge since succeeding Rafael Benitez at the Bernabeu.

But the former France international said he never saw himself in management, although is extremely happy with the work his players have put in so far. 

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He said: "I never thought that I'd be a manager. When your playing career ends all you want to do is spend time with your family. I always liked being on the pitch, it's what I knew how to do. Everything else was foreign to me.

"It's always the manager's fault if the team lose. But you have to accept that responsibility, with all the good and bad that comes with it.

"The main thing is getting my message across to the players. I only give them two or three instructions because they're extremely professional. I have a sensational group of players, I'm delighted with the work they're doing."

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