Monday 05 December 2016, 08:07

Capello: Ronaldo doesn't have the brilliance of Messi

Former England and Russia coach Fabio Capello says Cristiano Ronaldo deserves The Best FIFA Men’s Player 2016 award, but that Lionel Messi's superior ability puts him on another level. The Real Madrid No7 and the Barcelona No10 are among the final three nominees for the honour, alongside Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann.

"Yes, certainly he's my favourite for the year,” Capello told AS of Ronaldo. “He was instrumental in Portugal winning EURO 2016 and Madrid winning the Champions League. He'd be the worthy winner. However, when we talk about geniuses then that's a totally different debate.

"It's simple: Cristiano Ronaldo is a great goalscorer but he doesn't have the brilliance of Lionel Messi. Messi at the age of 17 or 18 was a genius; Cristiano was a good player who improved through hard work and effort and has become an excellent forward.

"Cristiano is not just a great player but an excellent one, but he doesn't have that ability to mesmerise or pull off moves that are unimaginable. That, for me, is the difference."

The Best FIFA Men’s Player will be crowned at The Best FIFA Football Awards™ ceremony in Zurich on 9 January 2017.

Messi was among the ten nominees for the FIFA Puskás Award, thanks to his breathtaking free-kick for Argentina against USA at the Copa America, but he did not make the final three.