Early Doors

Blatter prefers ‘good boy’ Messi to ‘hairdresser fan’ Ronaldo

Early Doors

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FIFA president Sepp Blatter has outlined the differences he sees between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, admitting that he ‘prefers’ the Barcelona man.

The duo have been long compared against each other as the best two players in the game and between them have won the last five Ballon d’Or awards.

In the same week that both are listed in the 23-man shortlist for the 2013 edition of the tournament, a video of FIFA’s president has emerged revealing his take on their duel and their differences.

“They are both exceptional players but are totally different,” Blatter commented at a talk at Oxford Union.

“Football is about the difference between stars. Lionel Messi is a good boy that every father, every mother would like to have at home.

“He is very quick, he is not exuberant, he plays well, he is a good boy. That is what makes him so popular, because he is this nice man and that is why he gets votes.

“The other one [Ronaldo], he is something else, he is like a commander on the field of play. This is the other side of football and it is good to have such commanders on the field also. That gives life to football.

“One has more expenses for the hairdresser than the other, but that doesn’t matter.

“I cannot say who is the best, there will be a contest this year and then January next year it will be announced. I like both of them, but I prefer Messi.”

Original story: Football Espana

While the story has led to some Real fans claiming the FIFA boss is pro-Barca, Spanish football expert Sid Lowe divulged the truth on Twitter:

UPDATE: And it has since attracted the ire, understandably, of Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti. The Italian says the club expect a retraction for the "lack of respect" shown by a man who is supposed to be impartial.

"I know that our president has sent a letter to FIFA asking to rectify this lack of respect to a very serious and professional player. I completely agree with the president," he said at his latest media conference.

"I have not spoken to Christiano about this," Ancelotti added.

The Portuguese Football Federation waded in, agreeing with Real in saying a "lack of respect" had been shown.

And finally, Ronaldo himself had something to say - while apparently cooling the row, his carefully-worded Tweet seemed to have a touch of the Mourinho about it...

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