There aren’t too many players who can say they have enjoyed the privilege of playing alongside Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Sergio Ramos is the latest man to join the exclusive list having joined PSG alongside Messi, after spending years alongside Ronaldo at Madrid.
But another iconic defender has graced the pitch with both of this generation’s greatest players, Barcelona center-back Gerard Pique.
Whilst Pique’s exploits with Messi are well known, it’s easy to forget the defender also had the opportunity to play with Ronaldo during the early days of his career.
Despite the Spaniard coming through Barcelona’s famous La Masia academy, he transferred to Manchester United in 2004 before having a chance to sign a professional contract with the Spanish club.
Even though the defender spent a total of four years in Manchester, Pique managed just 23 first-team appearances and eventually returned to Barcelona in the hope of regular football.
But during his time with the Red Devils, Pique enjoyed the company of one of the greatest players of all time. Ronaldo had signed for United in 2003, a year before Pique’s arrival, and remained at the club until the Spaniard left.
The moves between the two clubs mean Pique can offer a fascinating insight into what it was like sharing the pitch with both Messi and Ronaldo at club level.
A clip from an interview with Rio Ferdinand in 2016 has recently resurfaced on Twitter, in which Pique offers his view on the two players.
Ferdinand was able to extract a fascinating answer from the defender after asking about the differences between the pair rather than simply who was better.
Pique replies: “I think that they are both amazing. We are talking about two of the best players, not just in the world, but in the history of the sport.“I always said that Messi has some talent that no one has. He has the ball and his speed controlling the ball, and the ball doesn’t go two meters far from his foot, it’s always there.”
Pique then discusses Ronaldo’s skillset, saying: “Cristiano Ronaldo is such a different player, they are very different. He’s really tall, strong, he’s really complete. He can do everything, goals with his head, free kicks, penalties, take one on one.”
In the final part of the clip, Pique struggles with his English, but eventually roughly translates his thoughts as: “Cristiano is the best of the humans.”
However, unsurprisingly considering the tweet was posted from a Cristiano fan account, a vital part of the clip was cut out.
In the full unedited version of the clip Pique actually says: “For me, Messi is not human, and Cristiano is the best of the humans.”
The full phrase leaves you with quite a different impression than what can be interpreted from the edited clip and shows that the Barcelona defender’s allegiances lie with the Argentinian.
Although this should come as no surprise considering that the Spaniard spent over three times longer with Messi as a teammate than Cristiano Ronaldo.