In an era when two footballers comtinuously push each other to do better and outdo each other with every game, there are bound to be comparisons. The constant battle between who is better between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo falls in the same category.
Both Messi and Ronaldo have dominated world football for over a decade, winning five Ballon d'Ors each between the two. While Ronaldo took flight with Manchester United in the Premier League, Messi was groomed and developed by Barcelona. Their rivalry grew more fierce when Ronaldo joined Barcelona's arch-rival Real Madrid in the summer of 2009.
With both Ronaldo and Messi playing in the same La Liga, comparison grew further and even after Ronaldo moved to Juventus in Serie A last year, the comparisons have not stopped.
Buffon, instead of giving a definite answer to who out of Messi and Ronaldo is better, gave a very interesting response, drawing its parallel with another major sporting rivalry between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in tennis.
"Federer is infinite class, while Nadal is perseverance, sweat and also talent, otherwise you cannot win all the Grand Slams he achieved," Buffon said to La Gazzetta Dello Sport.
"Nadal's hard work and constant desire to improve himself allowed him to be on a par with the most talented tennis player in history.
"The comparison is obvious and makes me smile, as Leo Messi is Federer, while Cristiano Ronaldo is like Nadal."
Most fans describe Messi and Ronaldo in a similar manner when the Argentine is said to be the naturally gifted one while the Portuguese is said to have worked extremely hard to reach the top level. Buffon just took the examples of two different athletes to draw the same conclusion in the most seamless of manners.
This year, Messi beat Ronaldo and Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk to win FIFA's The Best award.