Argentines are proud of Messi, but Ronaldo is an animal

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Legendary Argentina footballer Diego Maradona has hailed both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo while describing the latter as an animal after his hat-trick against Atletico Madrid.

The UEFA Champions League Round of 16 encounters this Tuesday and Wednesday saw Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi produce two awe-inspiring performances to help their respective sides progress into the quarter-finals. While comparisons between the two football superstars have been ever-present over the past decade, legendary footballer Diego Maradona held special praise for the Portuguese after his stunning show against Atletico Madrid

Juventus emerged 3-0 victorious against Atletico, overturning a 2-0 first leg deficit after Ronaldo scored a sensational hat-trick at the Allianz Stadium. Messi, meanwhile, bagged 2 goals and 2 assists in Barcelona's 5-1 triumph over Olympique Lyon the very next day, playing a direct role in 4 of the 5 goals that the team scored.

While Maradona's comments had come before Messi ran the show for Barca at the Camp Nou, the 31-year-old ensured that fans don't continue to talk about Ronaldo for two days in a row by producing the sort of performance that has earned him the title of GOAT.

"There are players who are touched by the magic wand," Maradona described Messi while speaking to Marca after seeing his side Dorados being knocked out of the Copa MX. "The truth is that us Argentines are proud that Messi is Argentinian and did not go with the Spanish.”

Speaking about Cristiano, Maradona lauded the sheer ruggedness in his attitude and his will to excel that continues to help him dominate the opponents even in extreme pressure situations. The legendary Argentine went on to describe the Portuguese as an 'animal' and a 'sorcerer' who continues to march forward.

“The other is an animal. Ronaldo is pure power and is now also a sorcerer: he said that he'd score three goals and he scored three goals," said the 1986 FIFA World Cup winner.

Messi and Ronaldo haven't met this season, as the latter had left Real Madrid for a move to Juventus in the summer of 2018. The two, however, could lock horns in the quarter-finals of the Champions League if Juventus are drawn against Barcelona.

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