'Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo and FC Barcelona attacker Lionel Messi are irreplaceable'.
Posted: 6 March 2018 Time: 20:00
Former FC Barcelona forward Gary Lineker claims there will be a shift in power amongst European football once Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo eventually hang up their boots.
With LaLiga giants Real Madrid Barca dominating the UEFA Champions League in recent years, the former England striker believes it is down to the individual brilliance of the two 'best players in world football'.
The Ballon d'Or trophy, which is awarded to the best player in Europe, has been dominated by the pair over the past decade, with Kaka in 2007 the last player besides Messi or Ronaldo to win the prestigious honour.
"Real Madrid and Barcelona have a magical appeal to players all over the world and can generally sign who they want," he told Planet Football. "But they have had Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi at their peak for the last few years, which has been a deciding factor in so many big games
"The exits of Ronaldo and Messi will level things quite significantly because those two players have been so far above everyone else in the world game for an extended period of time."