The Uruguayan believes his ex-Manchester United team-mate has fallen behind Barcelona talisman when it comes to conjuring up moments of individual magic.
Diego Forlan believes Cristiano Ronaldo has become “more of a finisher” during his time at Real Madrid and no longer produces the moments of individual brilliance that Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi is still capable of.
The eternal rivals in ‘best player on the planet’ debates are set to lock horns once again over the coming weeks as the battle to be named Ballon d’Or winner intensifies.
The last six awards have been shared between the leading lights in Madrid and Catalunya (Ronaldo with two and Messi with four), while you have to go back to 2007 – before the World Player of the Year award was rebranded – for the last time someone other than the Portuguese and Argentine maestros took top prize.
Ronaldo is the odds-on favourite to recapture the crown in 2016, but his former Manchester United team-mate Forlan feels the 31-year-old forward has become less of a complete player the longer he has spent at the Santiago Bernabeu.
“There is one part of his game that I wish he would not have changed,” he wrote in The National.
“When I played with him and in his first years at Real Madrid, he used to go past players for fun, like Messi. Now he is more of a finisher, a killer in front of goal.
“Messi has that too, but he also has the ability to go past two or three players and change a game.”
Messi actually has more goals to his name this season – 14 in all competitions, compared to Ronaldo’s seven.
Meanwhile, there is no splitting them when it comes to assists in La Liga and the Champions League, with both men having provided four apiece across domestic and continental competition.