Newcastle United winger Harvey Barnes named Lionel Messi as the Greatest of all time (GOAT) player during an interview with GOAL. The admission comes a few years after Barnes’ father Paul mentioned that the young English winger had modelled his game around Cristiano Ronaldo.
Speaking on TalkSPORT back in 2020, Paul Barnes also added that his son had a soft spot for the Portuguese winger. So it could be surprising for some fans to hear that despite Harvey Barnes’ alleged admiration for Ronaldo, he picked Lionel Messi as the best player of all time.
This opinion is a surprise because the rivalry between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo has dominated the footballing fraternity for the majority of the 21st century. Two legends in their own rights, both Messi and Ronaldo fought for and won multiple individual and club honors for years on end, etching their names in record books, time and time again.
Back in 2020, Barnes had just started to make his name as a 22-year-old winger for Leicester City. His good form eventually saw Newcastle United fork out £38 million in the summer of 2023.
He has played just eight games for the Magpies, registering two goals and one assist. Barnes was injured back in September 2023 and returned to the pitch on February 1, missing 27 games for Newcastle United this season.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi had fantastic outings in 2023
Cristiano Ronaldo left Manchester United by mutual consent back in December 2022 and joined Al Nassr as a free agent. Making his debut in January 2023, Ronaldo went on to score 54 goals in 59 games in the calendar year for club and country. He finished as the highest goalscorer across the world in 2023.
Messi helped Paris-Saint Germain win Ligue 1 before leaving for Inter Miami. He registered 11 goals and five assists in 14 games for the Herons, helping them win their first-ever trophy in the Leagues Cup. Messi also won the 2023 Ballon d’Or and the 2023 FIFA The Best Men’s Player of the Year awards.