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Valdano calls Messi, Ronaldo 'super heroes'

Updated: 2013-11-26 10:51
( Xinhua)

BUENOS AIRES - A prominent former football player and top official at a leading Spanish club, Jorge Valdano believes Argentine star Lionel Messi and his Portuguese counterpart Cristiano Ronaldo "are super heroes".

Valdano, a member of Argentina's national team in 1982 and 1986, told prestigious Argentine daily Clarin he was surprised to see so much talent come along at the same time.

"In the 21st century, we were expecting Cristiano, who is a superman. So, this Messi thing is baffling. His talent is baffling. And football is gauged by the size of talent, not by physical size," he said.

Ronaldo, currently Real Madrid's star player, "is a designer super hero. He has an enormous sense of perfection, and year after year he always gets better. I admire him," said Valdano.

Messi, who plays for Spain's Barcelona, "keeps a low social profile, he seems harmless. But when he comes in contact with the ball, he turns into a weapon of mass destruction," said Valdano. "When Messi puts on a football uniform, he is a super hero."

Valdano, 58, played for Real Madrid before becoming its trainer and later its general manager.

The former forward was critical of the way Argentina is handling its football scene, saying "it's not thinking about the past players nor the players of the future, it's only thinking about today.

"Argentinean football has lost its love of the game," he added. "We have changed from having a passion for the game, to having a passion for the scores. You have to see football through the decades and in Argentina they study the past five minutes."

In contrast, "there's a revolution going on in Spain," he said. "Even national teams without much of a (football) history, like Switzerland and Belgium, have implemented fundamental policies. Even those with tight traditions, like Germany and Italy, are opening up to a freer football."

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