Koke praises Messi

Atletico Madrid star Koke has praised Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi by saying that he is a step above Cristiano Ronaldo, who he thinks is one of the best athletes around. The competition between Ronaldo and Messi is seen as one of the greatest rivalries since the days of Pele and Maradona. The duo have been competing consistently for major titles including individual accolades for several years. Messi has consistently come out on top with four FIFA Ballon d’Or awards to his name. This is considerably better than Ronaldo’s two Ballon d’Or titles.
Ronaldo could move one step closer towards Messi by winning a third title this year. It is widely anticipated that the Portuguese will be victorious ahead of Messi by a considerable margin when the awards were handed out in a few months. This is after he helped Real Madrid win the Champions League and also scored numerous goals along the way, while Messi was unable to win any major title with Barcelona. The Argentine also failed to help Argentina lift the World Cup. The bid to become world champions failed at the last hurdle after Argentina were defeated by Germany.
Despite the last 12 months being disappointing for Messi, Koke says that he is on another level. "Ronaldo is an athlete, but Messi is a god. They're both great players. I see them on the pitch and it's spectacular. It's tough to decide. You always want them on your team, and even though it's Cristiano, I'd choose Messi," said Koke, who was heavily linked with a move to Barcelona in the summer. The Spanish international says that the decision to stay at Atletico was completely his own. "I made the decision to continue at Atletico. I appreciated the interest of Barcelona, but why would I have left during what is such a good time for Atletico?" said Koke.