FC Barcelona football director Andoni Zubizarreta sparked controversy when asked to choose the world’s best player. He made it very clear he does not consider Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo as the world’s best, a title that he would give to Lionel Messi. He made it blatantly clear by inferring that Ronaldo is nowhere near Messi, and doesn’t even compare to fellow Barcelona teammate Cristian Tello.
Perhaps Zubizarreta was trying to be supportive of his player while encouraging an unproven youngster by comparing him to a world-class superstar. I almost fell of my chair when I read such a ludicrous and irresponsible comment.
Tello is not better than Ronaldo and probably never will be. Ronaldo and Messi are superstars that come around, usually in pairs, only once in a generation. These two are by far the best players on the world stage; Tello doesn’t even have a place in Barcelona’s starting 11.
How can you compare a player who has represented his country for the past nine years as one of the most recognized footballers, and who has extensive accolades and championship performances, with an unproven young benchwarmer? Not to mention, Zubizarreta’s comments came a day after Ronaldo tied the all-time mark for most Champions League goals in the first round with a staggering eight scores.
Ronaldo’s mark is not even equaled by Messi, and he still has two more games to add to that total. Tello, on the other hand has played in eight games this year, scoring a grand total of zero goals.
I can understand the comparisons between Messi and Ronaldo because it is quite evident that they are the best in the world and are far better than all the rest. Perhaps only Wayne Rooney, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Frank Ribery and Iniesta can even be mentioned in the same breath as them, but certainly not Tello.
Even Tello’s coach, Gerardo Martino, doesn’t think he is good enough to start in place of Alexis Sanchez or Neymar (both of whom Barcelona paid more than €30 million to acquire). If they already had a superstar winger in Tello, they wouldn’t have had to buy two of them.
Hopefully, Zubizarreta will address the media shortly and reveal he was highly intoxicated at the time he made this unfortunate statement. Zubizarreta was great at stopping shots, but he is regrettably poor at stopping his mouth. Love him or hate him, Ronaldo makes the game better and is a master with the ball at his feet. Zubizarreta should show some respect and should not excite Barcelona fans by making Tello seem like the superstar he will never be.