Dimitar Berbatov says that Lionel Messi is the best player of his generation, although admires Cristiano Ronaldo’s commitment to becoming the best he could be.
In an extensive interview with ESPN, Berbatov was asked about the Champions League in which he played and Manchester United lost to Barcelona and in which Messi was decisive.
“The first 10 minutes, it was all United,” he said. “We had chances. Barcelona were better after that. Carlos [Tevez] and I were left on the bench and we wanted to play.
“[And then Messi was decisive.] Because he’s the fucking greatest.
“Ronaldo is brilliant, Messi more my kind of player. He sees the game so clearly. He can score, create, he’s the complete player, the best ever probably.
“If you ask someone older than me they will say Pele, Maradona or Puskas or Di Stefano. But for my generation it’s Messi or Ronaldo.
“They’re pretty much even, but something with Messi makes me shout ‘Messi! Messi!’ when I watch Barcelona on television.”
Yet Berbatov spoke of his admiration for Ronaldo, and the way in which he trained during his time at Old Trafford.
“Young players try and imitate the best players like Ronaldo. They try to imitate the hair, the clothes, the cars, the tricks.
“I try to tell them how hard Cristiano Ronaldo trained in training and after training. He only wanted to be the best. Everything else came after. Players shouldn’t try and imitate shit, they should concentrate on themselves and being professional.”