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    Cristiano Ronaldo lags behind 'genius' Messi'

    New Delhi: Alexander Hleb hasn't been short of a derogatory word or two about English football since switching Arsenal for Barcelona in the summer.

    Now, the Belarusian attacking midfielder has savaged the English Premier League's biggest star - Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo.

    The 27-year-old feels that the Portuguese is vastly inferior to his Barça team-mate Lionel Messi, who placed second behind Ronaldo in the Ballon d'Or voting recently.

    Damning wing-wizard Ronaldo with faint praise, he is quoted as saying by Sport: "The Portuguese deserved everything he received from journalists, but never as much as Messi.

    "It's wrong he was given the Ballon d'Or. This shows that the people who voted are blind and have nothing to do with football.

    "Snubbing Messi is the equivalent of showing a lack of respect for him as a genius.

    "I have played many times against Cristiano Ronaldo when I was in the Premier League, so I know what he was capable of.

    "However, he has limits and, since I came here, I have learned to respect the genius of Messi.

    "You cannot compare the two."

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