Former Real Madrid and Spain head coach Vicente del Bosque has stoked the fire in the ongoing debate about who is better between Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo.

There is unlikely to be an end to the discussion as both players continue to break records even though they are in the latter stages of their respective careers. Messi and Ronaldo have dominated world football over the last decade winning almost every team and individual trophy.

Messi is a six-time Ballon d'Or winner while his main rival for European football's biggest individual honour has been Ronaldo, who has claimed it five times. The duo have finished in second place on five and six occasions respectively.

There is no doubt that Messi and Ronaldo will be considered among the greatest to ever play the game, but Del Bosque has pinpointed one aspect where he feels that the Argentine has the edge over his Portuguese counterpart.

The former Spain national team boss made it clear that he meant no "disrespect" to Ronaldo by picking his long time rival. He suggested that it was simply the Argentina skipper's playing style which reflects his street football roots which puts him ahead of the former Real Madrid ace.

"Messi [is the best worldwide] and I'm going to tell you why," Del Bosque said, as quoted by Marca. "I'm not [saying it] to discredit Cristiano. [Messi] is a kid from the street, from the neighbourhood."

"One of those who we played with and he made fun of you on the pitch. That's why he's the best player of the world."

The two players - Messi and Ronaldo - are again leading their teams at the ongoing Copa America and Euro 2020 continental tournaments respectively. The Argentine scored his side's only goal in their opening 1-1 draw against Chile, while the Portuguese forward netted a brace as his side beat Hungary 3-0 in their opening encounter.

Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo will renew acquaintances when Barcelona and Juventus clash in the group stage, although the Portuguese superstar is currently self-isolating with Covid-19 Josep LAGO/AFP