Ted Buxton, a former England coach, believes that Paul Gascoigne was as good as current leading players Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
The duo being compared to Gascoigne have had a stranglehold on world football’s top honour, the Ballon d’Or, since 2008 but Buxton believes the English midfielder was as good as the two currently battling it out for the tag as the world’s best player.
‘Put him up against Messi and Ronaldo and all these big guns, he’s as good.’ the former England coach told the BBC.
‘Perhaps even better because he had so much, I couldn’t find a fault.’
Gascoigne was first called up to the senior England squad by Bobby Robson for a friendly against Denmark in September 1988, and came on as a late substitute for Peter Beardsley in a 1–0 win. He scored his first goal for England in a 5–0 victory over Albania at Wembley in April 1989.
‘Gazza’ began his career in 1984 with Newcastle and only hung up his boots in 2004. He played for Everton, Middlesborough, Lazio, Rangers and Tottenham Hotspur. He ended his playing days with 110 goals from 468 games including 57 caps for England.
The English legend, now 49, has struggled with alcohol addiction for a number of years.
Buxton was part of Terry Venable’s management team for the Euros in 1996 that lost on penalties to Germany in the semi-finals.