Modern-day football has been dominated by the duopoly, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi and despite their age, they are showing no signs of slowing down.
June 2, 2020, 11:41 a.m.
Modern-day football has been dominated by the duopoly of two G.O.A.Ts, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. The two nemeses have scooped every individual award over the past decade, having 11 Ballon d'Ors between them and despite their age, they are showing no signs of slowing down.
Messi and Ronaldo differ mainly in their style. Ronaldo is a physical specimen. He is a goal-scoring machine with supernatural physical abilities, an immense amount of talent and great leadership qualities. Being a highly-skilled player and having a determined approach towards the game is what makes him one of the greatest players of the game. Messi, on the other hand, is a natural genius. He is a virtuoso, a magician. It's as if he watches the game from above and then decides his next move. His dribbling is considered to be the best the game has ever seen, and his vision and game sense is out of this world.
The two have ruled European football with 9 Champions League titles between them. Messi won all 4 with Barcelona while Ronaldo won 4 with Real Madrid and 1 with Manchester United. Since 2008, they have bagged all Ballon d’Ors until their decade long duopoly was ended by Luka Modric and seen as the “end of an era". However, Modric stated in an interview that he did not believe that it was the end for them.
“History will say that a Croatian player, representing his small country, won the Ballon d'Or after Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, who are players at another level. Nobody has the right to compare themselves to them. They are the best in the history of this sport,”, he said.
They both have record-breaking statistics for club and country. Messi is the all-time La Liga top scorer and assists provider and Ronaldo occupies the second spot. On the other hand, great CR7 is the top goalscorer and assist provider in UEFA Champions League with Messi right behind him. Ronaldo is currently the highest active international goal scorer with a whopping 99 goals while Messi is at the third position with 70 goals, 2 less than the Indian wizard Sunil Chhetri.
The two maestros have entertained us throughout these years and hopefully will continue to do so. We are privileged to have watched these players throughout their careers and their rivalry has only pushed them to greater and greater heights. They’ve both given us so much joy and memories over the past 10-15 years. It’s time to stop comparing and pitting them against each other, rather we should appreciate and enjoy the beautiful game.