The Russia coach has voiced his admiration for the Argentine attacker, but believes the Madrid man could surpass him due to his problems at club level.
Fabio Capello says Barcelona forward Lionel Messi is a bigger genius than Real Madrid attacker Cristiano Ronaldo, but believes the Argentine’s difficulties at the Camp Nou side could prove to be a problem in the years to come.
The Portugal star scooped up his third Ballon d’Or at the annual Fifa gala in Zurich on Monday and Capello refuses to rule out the possibility that the 29-year-old will eventually win the prestigious individual award more than his Barcelona nemesis, who lifted it four times in a row.
“Can Ronaldo win more Ballons d’Or than Messi? It’s a very interesting battle. Messi is a bigger genius than Ronaldo, but he is having some problems at his club and that could cause some problems,” Capello toldCOPE.
“Cristiano is very solid and mentally very strong. He wants to become the best ever and plays in an amazing team.
“All his team-mates help him and he in turn helps out the team as well. It’s crucial to have the respect of all your team-mates and to always train well.”
Capello then went on to discuss the future of Messi at Barcelona. The attacker’s future has become the subject of much speculation this season, but the Russia coach feels a transfer is out of the question.
“Barcelona should never sell Messi. How can you sell someone like Messi?
“I saw him play at the weekend. He didn’t have a good start and did not seem to be enjoying himself. And then all of a sudden he awoke and put in a superb performance. Barcelona simply cannot sell a player like him.”
Messi has a contract with Barcelona until June 2018.