Why have the GOATs failed at the biggest stage?
May 22, 2020, 5:13 a.m.
For over a decade, the world’s most popular debate has been around Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. The truth is that we have never seen a rivalry like this, not only in football but in sporting history. The two GOATs have never won the World Cup. To understand this, we have to analyze how dominant Messi and Ronaldo have been. From 2008 to 2017, the Ballon d’Or, the most valuable individual honor, has gone to either one of them: 5 for Ronaldo and 6 for Messi with him winning it for the 6th time in 2019. Messi is the all-time leading scorer in La-Liga, in Spanish cup and in El Clasico. He is FCB’s leading scorer in all competitions (697 Goals) and holds the record for most goals in a calendar year (91 Goals). A prolific goalscorer and a creative playmaker, Messi holds various records: most goals in La Liga (438), most goals in a La Liga and European league season (50), most hat-tricks in La Liga (36) and the UEFA Champions League (8), most assists in La Liga (181) and the Copa América (12). In other words, he produced some magical statistics. Now, Ronaldo has also managed to cook up some mind-blowing numbers. Ronaldo is the all-time leading goalscorer in Champions League and is Real Madrid’s leading goalscorer in the La Liga. Moreover, he scored 84 goals in the Premier League and 99 goals for Portugal. These similar statistics bring a lot of questions to our minds. Can individual brilliance overshadow their failure to win the world cup? What about other legends like Pele and Maradona? Did they lead their teams to the World Cup single-handedly or did they have a good team supporting them? In this series, we will analyze all the World Cups where Messi and Ronaldo have made appearances. Stay tuned!