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What Mourinho Said About 'Messi vs Ronaldo' Debate In 2012

While Jose Mourinho was Real Madrid manager in 2012, he made a compelling argument when giving his thoughts about the famous and eternal "Lionel Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo" debate. Here is what he said!

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Nine years ago, the Portuguese tactician was the man barking instructions at Ronaldo, after being appointed boss of Los Blancos in 2010. Mourinho would go on to stay at the club until 2013, a three-year period during which his compatriot scored 168 goals in 164 games.

Despite Ronaldo enjoying a fantastic 2011/12 season, Messi ultimately claimed the 2012 Ballon d'Or prize, but in the weeks leading up to the ceremony, Mourinho made a strong case for his then-player to win the illustrious individual award.

The Portuguese tactician based his stance on Messi having grown up in the FC Barcelona academy and therefore being more comfortable in their system than Ronaldo was at Real, considering he had joined Los Blancos when the club was not at its best.

"It would be a crime for Cristiano to not win the Ballon d'Or. And I keep saying it's harder to be Cristiano than Lionel Messi," he told A Bola in 2012.

"I'll tell you: Messi grew up in the team he plays for now; with the teammates he plays with now.

"Cristiano came from England to a team that was losing. He had to grow up in the past two years with this team in construction.

"One plays centre forward and the other is a winger. Messi is about 50 metres closer to the goal and has less defensive work. How can a winger score the same amount of goals as a centre forward does?

"This is a winger that defends, a winger that ends the game in the 94th minute with a sprint to chase Pedro in a goalscoring position. This is a player that, in dead-ball situations, comes 20 times to the defensive area.

"He is very important to the defensive set-up. He is a player that isn't protected by nothing or nobody. It's much, much harder."

Pictures: Messi Given Special Shirt For Record-Breaking Feat

Ronaldo scored 63 goals in 71 games for club and country in 2012, while Messi famously broke the calendar year world record with his 91 strikes in 69 appearances for Barca and Argentina.

Check out the gallery below to see what 10 high-profile managers said about the "Messi vs Ronaldo" debate! 

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