'Lionel Messi & Cristiano Ronaldo are no longer the best in the world'

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Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are no longer the world's best footballers, according to a two-time UEFA Champions League winner. 

The pair has been widely viewed as this generation's best players due to the consistent numbers they have produced over the past decade. 

With both securing moves ahead of the 2021/22 season, all eyes have been on Ronaldo and Messi's performances for Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain, respectively.  

Scroll through the gallery above to see five times the duo faced off against each other

However, although he started the campaign well, the Portuguese has endured a lot of criticism in recent times for the impact, or lack thereof, he has had on his team as the Red Devils languish outside the Premier League top four.

The Argentine, meanwhile, has taken a beating from some in the French media who have lambasted him for his failure to replicate the numbers he produced at FC Barcelona in Paris.  

Despite the wave of criticism for the veterans, they have both still managed to contribute to 18 goals in all competitions for their respective teams this season, but Manchester United legend Gary Neville has now insisted that the 37-year-old and 34-year-old's ages have finally caught up with them.   

"We may see cameos or little swansongs here and there, but there is no doubt that Ronaldo and Messi are coming to the end of their careers," he told Sky Sports, per the Daily Mirror.

"That's not to say they are coming to the end of their careers and will retire at the end of the season; Ronaldo and Messi could play three or four more years, knowing their fitness.

"Declining seems like the wrong word when talking about two great players, but there is no doubt they are declining forces. 

"At this moment in time, for the first time in years, if you asked people which player in the world they would sign if I could only pick one, no one would say Messi or Ronaldo, they would likely say [Kylian] Mbappe, Erling Haaland, Mohamed Salah, Robert Lewandowski. 

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"You would be naming players other than Ronaldo and Messi, and that is the clearest sign that, while these two are still operating at the highest level, they are fading from the levels they were at before. 

"They are no longer the best players in the world." 

Here are 16 stunning records Messi holds, per UEFA