Ronaldo can almost do what Messi does, says Maradona

The Argentina legend has praised the Portuguese superstar, but says that he is still a step behind his great rival at Barcelona

Diego Maradona says Cristiano Ronaldo is decisive like Lionel Messi, but is still not as good as the Argentina captain.

The Real Madrid star whipped in a remarkable cross for Silvestre Varela to head in the equaliser in injury time against USA which kept Portugal in the World Cup. His wonderful contribution came a day after Lionel Messi’s 90th minute winner against Iran which secured Argentina a place in the last-16 of the tournament.

And Maradona praised Ronaldo for his cross, but says he is still behind the Barcelona talisman. 

“Cristiano Ronaldo can do what Lionel Messi does,” he wrote in Times of India. “Well, almost. It was a superb cross, the situation and quality of delivery making it all the more important.

“Yet, this is where the similarity ends as far as two of the brightest stars of contemporary football are concerned. 

“Ronaldo was otherwise kept quiet by the tight defensive organisation shown by USA. It’s a pity that he was not fully fit and the excessive heat of Manaus took its toll on him. 

“Portugal have to beat Ghana and hope that the Germans win against USA. Going by how the teams have played so far, it doesn’t look good for Ronaldo’s team.”

On Tuesday, Italy and Uruguay meet to decide who follows Costa Rica into the second round in Group D and the former Napoli star believes the Azzurri have the upper hand, but feels star players Luis Suarez and Mario Balotelli will decide the game.

“For Italy, a draw will suffice because they have a better goal difference, while Uruguay must win. They have a slight advantage, because of their ability to play calculative football according to the need of the hour.

“But given the way things have happened in Brazil, no team can take anything for granted. Uruguay have a good attack and showed against England that they have the mental strength too.

“It should be an interesting contest between two contrasting styles and all eyes will once again be on the likes of Suarez and Balotelli.”

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