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Ronaldo is no genius like Messi - Capello

Cristiano Ronaldo is a great goalscorer but does not possess the same "genius" as Lionel Messi, according to Fabio Capello.

Fans, players and pundits alike have long-since debated who is the greater talent between Real Madrid legend Ronaldo and Barca great Messi.

The two are set to battle it out in the latest chapter in their rivalry in Saturday's Clasico in LaLiga, with Ronaldo's Madrid aiming to open up a nine-point gap over Barca with victory at Camp Nou.

Capello recognises the hard work Ronaldo has put in to become one of the world's top talents, but says it is Messi's natural ability that sets him apart from the Portugal captain.

Speaking to AS, he said: "It's simple, Cristiano Ronaldo is a great goalscorer but he doesn't have the brilliance of Lionel Messi.

"Messi at the age of 17 or 18 was a genius, Cristiano was a good player who improved through hard work and effort and has become an excellent forward.

"He is not just a great player but an excellent one, however he doesn't have that ability to mesmerise or pull off moves that are unimaginable. That for me is the difference."

However, Capello - who has had two spells as Madrid coach - believes Ronaldo should win the prestigious Ballon d'Or award after a year in which he won the Champions League with Madrid and Euro 2016 with Portugal.

"Yes, certainly he's my favourite for the year," the Italian added. "He was instrumental in Portugal winning Euro 2016 and Madrid winning the Champions League. 

"He'd be the worthy winner. However, when we talk about genius players then that's a totally different debate."