BARCELONA: Barcelona defender Jordi Alba believes it is foolish to not respect Cristiano Ronaldo but says the Real Madrid talisman is nowhere close to Argentine superstar Lionel Messi.
"There is no comparison between the two of them. The debate will always be there and you have to respect Cristiano. It would be foolish not to respect him. He is a great player. But whoever likes football will think Leo is the best," Alba was quoted as saying by Spanish publication AS on Saturday.
"What gives Messi an extra dimension is that he always remains calm. Whatever happens, nothing affects him and the way he plays. He is a star, the best in the world and he shows it year after year," he added.
Portugal's Ronaldo might pip Messi to grab the Ballon d' Or this year as he has won both the Euro Cup and the Champions League but Alba believes performances on the pitch should be what matters most in the race for the prestigious individual award suggesting Ronaldo had little role to play in both wins.
"Many substitutes have won the Euros, World Cup or Champions League without contributing anything. In the end, it's what a player does on the pitch that counts and Messi has been the best," Alba added.