The rivalry between Messi and Ronaldo is a football rivalry between fans of the Argentine International Lionel Messi and Portuguese International Cristiano Ronaldo and allegedly between the players themselves.
Having won a combined eleven Ballon d'Or awards [six for Messi and five for Ronaldo] and ten European Golden Shoe awards [six for Messi and four for Ronaldo], both are widely regarded as all time best players in the history of soccer by sport pundits. The two players are having a combination of 67 trophies [33 for Ronaldo and Messi have 35] relative to their senior careers so far, both have also broken the 50 goals barrier in a single season.
They are amongst the over 40 players in the history of the football to score over 500 career goals, and as at now both have scored over 700 goals each in their careers for club and country.
Messi has scored the most goals in a season, scoring a total of 73 goals in 2011/12 season.
Ronaldo's highest ever season scoring came in 2014 with 61 goals.
Football critics unanimously agree that both players are the best of their generation, surpassing all their peers by some margins.
Messi is often known for his wonderful dribbling skills while Ronaldo's leadership and influence in big games.
Both players have been compared to past global sports rivalries such as the Muhammad Ali against Joe Frazier rivalry in boxing, Roger Federer against Rafael Nadal rivalry. Some commentators choose to analyse the differing physiques and playing styles of the two players, while others debate around the contrasting personalities of the two players
At club level, Messi and Ronaldo represented rivals FC Barcelona and Real Madrid for almost a decade. The two players faced each other at least twice every season in the world's most popular season club game, "El Clásico" since Ronaldo's arrival at Real in 2009 until his transfer to Italian club Juventus F.C. in 2018.
OFF THE FIELD
Away from the pitch, they are also the face of two rival sportswear manufacturers, Messi of Adidas and Ronaldo of Nike, which are also the kit suppliers of their national teams and the opposite for their clubs.
The two highest paid players in football, Messi and Ronaldo are among the world's best-paid sports stars in combined income from salaries, bonuses and off-field earnings.
They have the two largest social media followings in the world among sports personalities with a combination of over 250 million Facebook fans in 2020, Ronaldo is the most followed person on Facebook having over 150 million followers and Messi is 5th most followed person on Facebook having over 103 million followers. They as well have 424 million followers on Instagram when combine as of December 2020, Ronaldo is the most followed person on Instagram, with over 250 million followers whilst Messi is the 7th most followed person in Instagram having 174 million followers. On Twitter, Ronaldo is the 5th most followed person with over 91 Million followers, while Messi did not have a Twitter account as at 2020.
Messi has spent his whole senior club career playing for FC Barcelona, where he has won multiple trophies including the Spanish La Liga ten(10) times and the UEFA Champions League four times.
Portugeese skipper Cristiano Ronaldo has played his club football with Sporting Lisbon (2002-03), Manchester United (2003-09), Real Madrid (2009-2018) and is currently in the Series A with Juventus since he joined in 2018.
2020-21 CLUB SEASON STATS (ALL COMPETITIONS AS AT MARCH 5, 2021)
Messi For Barcelona
Ronaldo for Juventus
WHAT PEOPLE SAY ABOUT MESSI
Cristiano Ronaldo: “I really admire the career he has had so far, and, for his part, he has already said that he had trouble when I left the Spanish league because it is a rivalry that he appreciates. It is a good rivalry that exists in football, but this is no exception. Michael Jordan had rivals in basketball, Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost were great rivals in Formula One, the only common point between all the big rivalries in the sport is that they are healthy.”
Neymar: “I played with Messi, who is, for me, one of the greatest footballers of all time, and he is my idol in football.”
Pep Guardiola: “He is the best player I have ever seen. The best thing about him is not what he does but how simple he makes everything look.He is not just the best player because he can dribble past three or four players, it is because he does it better than anyone in the world.”
WHAT PEOPLE SAY ABOUT RONALDO
Lionel Messi: “(Ronaldo) is always there scoring goals in all the games and taking part in his club and national side. He has been doing that for many years and whether he is at his peak or a bit below it makes no difference.”
Zinedine Zidane: “When you play with Ronaldo on your team, you are already 1-0 up.”
Gerard Pique: “The best player I have ever played against has to be Ronaldo. You cannot afford to take your eyes off him.”
Who is the best of all time?
a. Cristiano Ronaldo (CR7)
b. Lionel Messi (Camp Nou Mafia)
Cast your vote in the comment section.
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