Manchester City's Carlos Tevez has given his two cents on the age-old debate of the world's best footballer, saying that he believes Lionel Messi is more deserving of a fourth consecutive Ballon D'or award than Cristiano Ronaldo.
"I think it is only right if Cristiano Ronaldo does believe he is the best in the world," said Tevez. "Any guy who gets 37-40 goals a season has a right to believe that, but if you push me I am always going to go on the side of Messi."
Tevez will come up against Ronaldo tomorrow night (Wednesday, November 21st) in a crucial Champions League match, with Man City having no other choice but to defeat the Spanish titans if they want any chance of progressing to the next round of the tournament. But even though the Argentinian may favour the footwork of Barcelona's star striker, he made it clear that he was not devaluing Ronaldo's worth ahead of their match, saying: "Cristiano is one of the best players in the world and he will play in this game the way he always has done. He does not seem to feel pressure. We will have to keep a special eye on him.
"I think that you have got to try and make sure he doesn’t get in behind you. Once he gets a chance to run at you he is very dangerous and he strikes the ball well too so you have to try and stop him further up the field."
City boss Robert Mancini has accepted that his team's chances of progressing in the tournament are slim, but the optimism of his players has kept him hopeful, saying: "The players are all convinced it is still possible. As long as it is mathematically possible, why not? It is true that it is a really tough group, possibly the toughest in this year's Champions League, but let's not consider that as an excuse for why we have not got the necessary points."
Mancini also spoke of the club's tumultuous relationship with Mario Balotelli, who it was revealed last week is possibly being considered for a transfer. Discussing the rumours surrounding Balotelli's alleged departure from the English champions, Mancini said: "Mario, outside the pitch, is a fantastic guy but sometimes he doesn't understand his job, and how his job is important for his life. I hope for him that he can understand this quickly.
"Now he is 22, but life can go quickly and I hope he can improve everything because as a player he could be like Cristiano and Messi. He needs to understand that to be like this you should work hard and your mind should always be on your job, not on the other things that are not important. I am very sorry for him if he does not understand this because he has everything to be one of the best players in the world."
Photo: Getty Images
Paul Tamburro is the UK Editor for Crave Online. You can follow him on Twitter @PaulTamburro.