The former Manchester United full-back believes their time is coming to an end.
Former Manchester United defender, Gary Neville believes Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are no longer the best players in the world.
Both players have dominated football for more than a decade. A dominance that has seen 12 Ballon d’Or awards split between them, with Messi winning seven-the most of any player and Ronaldo winning five.
However, Ronaldo and Messi are now in their mid-30s and Neville believes neither player is playing at the level they use to operate at.
“We may see cameos or little swansongs here and there, but there is no doubt that Ronaldo and Messi are coming to the end of their careers,” Neville told SkySports.
“Declining seems like the wrong word when talking about two great players, but there is no doubt they are declining forces.
“At this moment in time, for the first time in years, if you asked people which player in the world they would sign if I could only pick one, no one would say Messi or Ronaldo, they would likely say [Kylian] Mbappe, Erling Haaland, Mohamed Salah, Robert Lewandowski.
“You would be naming players other than Ronaldo and Messi, and that is the clearest sign that, while these two are still operating at the highest level, they are fading from the levels they were at before.
“They are no longer the best players in the world.”
The former full-back was also full of praise for Kylian Mbappe, whom he feels will take up the mantle left by Ronaldo and Messi as the best player in the world.
“In terms of excitement, in terms of thrill, in terms of speed, Mbappe is absolutely sensational,” he said.
“He reminds me of Thierry Henry, but he’s also got a bit of Cristiano Ronaldo in him – he is ruthless.
“He needs to win the Champions League with PSG this season, that would be the ultimate thing for him. The Champions League, and another World Cup, would be the crowning glory for Mbappe to succeed Ronaldo and Messi.
“I’m not saying he needs to win those trophies to become the best player in the world, but it cements your position if you play for the teams that win either of those trophies. For Mbappe, he knows silverware and honours go with that greatness.
“Mbappe’s last-minute goal against Real Madrid in the Champions League was absolutely sensational. The great players win tournaments, they win big competitions, they are influential in big competitions. Mbappe is at that level now.”
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