Vladimir Putin has snubbed both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo for his choice for the world’s greatest footballer – but in fairness, he might have bigger things on his mind at the moment.
The Russian president has remarkably snubbed both Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi from his selection for the world’s top three footballers.
Despite winning a combined 12 Ballon d’Or awards between themselves, the outspoken President of Russia, 69, failed to select either the Manchester United ace or the PSG hero in his choice of the planet’s most decorated players.
Instead, Putin opted for Pele and Diego Maradona as his answers for the top two spots with the duo dominating the footballing scene throughout the 1960s and 1980s respectively.
And of course, there had to be the inclusion of Russia’s most highly esteemed shot-stopper with Lev Yashin rounding off his selections.
Meanwhile, Brazil’s all-time leading goalscorer, the Argentinian World Cup champion, and the nine-time European Goalkeeper of the Year are undoubtedly solid choices from Putin but the absence of Messi or Ronaldo is striking.
Both have glistened during the modern era, sparking the G.O.A.T debate due to their goalscoring pedigree.
Lionel Messi is a seven-time Ballon d’Or winner whilst also racking up the most goals and assists ever in La Liga.
Whereas Ronaldo has won the Ballon d’Or on five occasions and is the greatest goal scorer in international and Champions League history.
But it seems neither are good enough to make Putin’s hit-list.
Although it may be the case that the Russian President is a closet Ronaldo fan due to his intense love of personal fitness.
Putin dedicates two hours a day to keep himself in shape and is a keen swimmer and gym user, whilst also enjoying the occasional judo sparring session.
“I also play hockey though not so often as I would like to,” Putin admitted to Russian news agency Tass.
“It would be an exaggeration to say that I actually ‘play,’ but I do try hard.”