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Carragher claims “passenger” Messi is no longer matching Ronaldo

Jamie Carragher has concerns over Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi’s efforts when out of possession, but he explained the Manchester United star is making up for this

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Jamie Carragher believes Cristiano Ronaldo is operating at a higher level than Lionel Messi despite both players being “passengers without the ball”.

Ronaldo, 36, and Messi, 34, are entering the late stages of their careers and they are no longer operating at the peak of their physical powers.

Manchester United striker Ronaldo continues to produce feats of remarkable athleticism and a steady supply of goals, but offers little by way of pressing when out of possession.

The same is true of Paris Saint-Germain forward Messi, who is often seen walking around the pitch before bursting into action in pockets of space when the ball is won back.

However, there can be no doubt Ronaldo has started the season in better form compared to his long-term rival.

Who is the better player out of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi? Have your say in the comments!

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are gradually slowing down after years at football’s pinnacle
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Image:

UEFA via Getty Images)

Despite criticism of his lack of pressing, the Portuguese icon has scored 10 goals and registered two assists in 15 appearances in all competitions.

The latest of these goals came against Villarreal on Tuesday, when he produced another sensational late strike to set United on course for victory.

Messi, meanwhile, has four goals and one assist in 10 appearances, with injuries affecting his first months at PSG following his arrival from Barcelona this summer.

The Argentina captain endured a frustrating outing and failed to see much of the ball in the 2-0 defeat by Manchester City on Wednesday.

Carragher described Messi and fellow PSG attackers Neymar and Kylian Mbappe as “passengers” in a scathing verdict after the match.

The Liverpool hero has no doubt Ronaldo’s efforts to win possession back are also lacking, but he believes his remarkable attacking output is making up for it – and that this is separating him from Messi at present.

“I’ve said this about Ronaldo as well but at least Ronaldo is getting goals,” Carragher told CBS Sports .

“Ronaldo is a passenger without the ball, his goals are making up for that at this minute.”

Jamie Carragher ruled out Manchester United or PSG winning the Champions League

Although he has been impressed by Ronaldo and the Red Devils finished top of Group A to reach the last 16, Carragher insists United cannot lift the Champions League this season.

The former England defender claims it is impossible to win the competition with “passengers” in the team, so he also ruled out PSG being crowned European champions.

“In the Champions League games, certainly tonight their (PSG’s) goals haven’t made up for it,” Carragher added.

“Unless you score, you’re carrying passengers, and at this level of football you’ll have no chance. Manchester United won’t win the Champions League.”

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