The Messi-Ronaldo rivalry: All that you need to know
The Argentine forward, Lionel Messi and the Portugese forward Cristiano Ronaldo are talented and famous in their own way. Yet their football rivalry is known only too well in the football circuit! Ask any fans and they can rattle off 10 things each about why they support Messi or Ronaldo.
Both Messi and Ronaldo have different physiques and playing styles. Their contrasting personalities are also what set them apart. Although debatable, Ronaldo seems arrogant and has been depicted as a show off, while Messi is shy and has a humble character.
Let’s take a look at what sets them apart from each other…
Messi was discovered at the age of 13 by Barcelona scout, Josep Maria Minguella. He moved to Spain where he progressed to La Masia, Barcelona’s youth academy. He made his senior debut on 16 October 2004.
Throughout the early years of his career, Messi was constantly compared to Maradona. In fact, he was even called ‘New Maradona’. This was majorly due to the fact that a couple of important goals that he scored remarkably resembled Maradona’s.
In fact, Maradona himself confessed, “I’ve already seen the player who will be able to inherit my place in Argentina and he is Messi.”
Some of Messis Major Achievements
- All-time top goal scorer in La Liga
- Only player to score 5 UEFA Champions League hat-tricks
- Only player to score 5 in a single Champions League game
- Scored his 400th goal on 27 September 2014
Ronaldo’s professional career began in October 2002. In the following year, Manchester United’s manager, Alex Ferguson noticed him and immediately signed him up for £12.2 million.
His talents were noted rather early on. He even caught the attention of United’s legend, George Best. In fact, George Best went on to say, “A lot of players have been compared to me and have been called the new ‘George Best’, but this is the first time it’s a huge compliment to me.”
Some of Ronaldos Major Achievements
- All-time top goal scorer for Portugal national football team
- Scored 61 goals in 133 appearances since his August 2003 debut
- Scored goals in three consecutive World Cups (2006, 2010 and 2014)
- Scored 9 goals in four UEFA European Championships (2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016)
Between Messi and Ronaldo, they have won 8 FIFA Ballon d’Or awards. Both have been recognised as the best players in the world in their generation and among the best of all time too.
Some of Their Common Achievements
Although Messi and Ronaldo have been compared a lot, both share a few individual achievements as mentioned below.
- Both have scored in 2 UEFA Champions League
- They have individually broken the 50-goal barrier in a single season
- Both have scored more than 500 goals each in their career for the club and country
- They are the two highest paid players in football; Ronaldo at about $88 million, followed by Messi at $81.4 million
- They also have the biggest social media following among the sportspeople, their combined Facebook fans were 200 million as of July 2016
So although there seems to be a lot of rivalry and competition between them, both are talented in their own right.
In fact, in one of the interviews, Ronaldo said that he feels that they push each other in the competition, which is why the competition is so high. He also said that they look at this ‘so-called rivalry’ with a positive spirit because it’s a great motivating factor and essentially, a good thing!
Wagering on Messi or Ronaldo?
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So who is your favourite, Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo?