Gary Lineker offers fresh take on Lionel Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo debate

Gary Lineker has hailed Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo as "super human footballers" – after the Barcelona star scored his 700th career goal.

The BBC Sport presenter has long been a fan of Messi's performances for his own former club Barcelona, and frequently lauds the Argentine's efforts on social media.

And Lineker was clearly in awe after Messi achieved yet another landmark on Tuesday night, posting on Twitter : "Messi, with a Panenka penalty, scores his 700th goal. Might as well do it in style".

But, after receiving plenty of responses from Ronaldo fans, the Match of the Day star was keen to get his point across.

He added: "Message to Ronaldo fans: When I tweet about the brilliance of Messi, it doesn’t mean I don’t admire Ronaldo. Message to Messi fans: When I tweet about Ronaldo, it doesn’t mean I don’t admire Messi. It’s possible to love both of these super human footballers. Enjoy them both."

The former England star had previously insisted that, while he's a huge fan of  Ronaldo, the long-running debate over who is the better footballer between him and Messi is "not even close".

"People get very tribal in all sorts of ways in life, and Messi versus Ronaldo is one of them," the former England striker told  BBC Sport.

"Often the choice seems to come down to whether you support  Barcelona,  Real Madrid,  Juventus  or whoever, which is fine – I understand that.

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"I am a huge fan of Ronaldo too, but if you're talking about the best player ever, there shouldn't even be a debate that it is Messi. That's just my opinion, but it's not even close for me."

Messi scored his 700th career goal on Tuesday night but Barcelona's title hopes suffered a huge blow against Atletico Madrid.

The forward netted a cheeky second-half penalty but Barca could only draw 2-2 at the Nou Camp after two Saul Niguez spot kicks twice pegged them back.

Messi has taken 862 appearances to reach the milestone but Barca missed the chance to return to the top of LaLiga and now trail Real Madrid by a point having played a game more.

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