Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo Reuters

Vicente Del Bosque, former Spain and Real Madrid coach has finally picked sides on the ever-going debate between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. Del Bosque believes that Messi, for his sheer and unparalleled quality, is a far better and perhaps is the best of this generation.

"He [Messi] almost always plays well," he told Mundo Deportivo. "There are players who never do it wrong. He has an impressive regularity. He is a great player.

He did concede than Ronaldo is more hard-working and has courage, but for the sheer skill, Messi is a better player.

'Cristiano has extraordinary courage'

"I'm staying with Messi. I see a more natural soccer player, from his time in the neighbourhood, playing with friends on the street. Even so, Cristiano has extraordinary courage, with physical and technical conditions as a great scorer, but I'm staying with Messi," he further added.

Ronaldo, who was a talisman for Real Madrid for a long time, switched sides to Juventus this season and has made an immediate impact. He has already scored 19 goals in his first 25 Serie A appearances. Messi, on the other hand, continues to spearhead Barcelona's charge this season and has 33 goals to his name in just 31 matches.

Madrid has struggled to get going this season and Del Bosque did say that the team misses Ronaldo's clinical edge in the final third. However, he quickly added that players like Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale are capable enough of making it count on a consistent basis.

"He [Ronaldo] is a player who guarantees many goals and now it is harder for Madrid to score them," Del Bosque continued. "Even so, there are other very good players, like Bale, who is a special boy with great conditioning, or Benzema, which has been badly spoken about but has fantastic qualities."

The teams are locked at 1-1 after the first leg of their Spanish Cup tie in the Camp Nou. The sides will now meet on February 27 for the second leg.