'I've kept CR7 quiet a few times'

Former Manchester City star Micah Richards has explained why facing Lionel Messi was tougher than going up against Cristiano Ronaldo.

Richards spent 10 years with the Citizens, where he made 179 appearances and lifted the Premier League title and FA Cup during that period.

Richards, who retired recently, claims he was able to keep Ronaldo quiet on a number of occasions during the meetings in the Manchester derby.

"I have to say Lionel Messi," he told SPORTbible when asked which of the two Superstars was toughest to face.

"Just because I've played against Ronaldo and I kept him quiet on a couple of occasions.

"I wouldn't say (it was) easy. We went to Old Trafford and I played well against him whereas I couldn't get anywhere near Messi. He was different gravy.

"He drops into pockets of space that you don't want to be in. You think you've got him and then he just turns so quick.

"You can't have a plan for him. As soon as he gets the ball, just try and foul him. Stop him from getting into his rhythm. That calibre of player. It's just impossible to stop him.

"They are two of the greatest players of all time, the numbers speak for themselves, but I'd say Lionel Messi is harder to play against."

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