Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are the two players who reshaped the idea of football. Football as a sport emphasizes team performances rather than individual flashes of brilliance. But these players made us look at how team performances can be inspired by a moment of individual prowess. 

Messi and Ronaldo portray a different brand of football. Their positions as well as their style of play are miles apart from each other. Ronaldo is a product of hard work and seizing the opportunity by its neck. Cristiano is a goal machine, a marksman who knows the place he needs to be before the moment comes. 

If we have a look at Messi football comes naturally to him. Messi is an artist who uses the football pitch as his personal canvas for painting a picture of his own imagination.         

People have a tendency to relate to things that occur during their youth. Music for example changes according to the generation in which we live. This attitude occurs in the field of sports as well. If people didn’t incline towards such an attitude Pele or Maradona would have settled this debate long ago. 

Yet time goes on. We see a lot of new faces in the world of football. Some fade away before we can even register their faces. While some stay with us in the form of memories for the rest of our lives. Messi and Ronaldo are such players, whose names will remain on our tongues even after they retire.

Messi and Ronaldo’s impact on modern football 

The consistency or uniformity of such words cannot sum up what Messi and Ronaldo have produced for the past decade. Their achievements and records speak volumes about the potential they hold within themselves. Yet here is a head-to-head comparison. This is just to get a glimpse of what we have witnessed since their arrival.

MessiRonaldo
GamesGoalsAssistsYearAssistsGoalsGames
278112021/202231833
4738142020/202143644
3124162019/202022532
5051192018/2019102843
5445182017/201884444
5254162016/2017124246
4941232015/2016155148
5758272014/2015216154
4641142013/2014145147
5060152012/2013125555
6073292011/2012156055
5553232010/2011155354
5347112009/201073335
5138172008/200992653
4016132007/200874249
361732006/2007152353
25832005/200681247
9102004/20058950
2003/20047640
2002/20037531

In terms of trophies, Cristiano’s trophy cabinet shines with a bit more spark. He has traveled a lot and conquered every single region he stepped into.

YearLionel MessiCristiano Ronaldo
2020/21Copa Del Rey, Copa America , Ballon d’Or, Pichichi awardCoppa Italia
2019/2020Ballon d’Or
2018/2019European Golden Shoe, La Liga, Spanish Super CupSerie A, Supercoppa Italiana, UEFA Nations League
2017/2018European Golden Shoe, Copa Del Rey, La LigaChampions League, Spanish Super Cup, UEFA Super Cup, Club World Cup, Ballon d’Or
2016/2017European Golden Shoe, Spanish Super Cup, Copa Del ReyChampions League, La Liga, Club World Cup, UEFA Super Cup, Ballon d’Or
2015/2016Ballon d’Or, UEFA Super Cup, UEFA Super Cup, UEFA Super Cup, La LigaEuropean Championship, Champions League
2014/2015Copa Del Rey, Champions League, La Liga,Club World Cup, UEFA Super Cup, European Golden Shoe, Ballon d’Or
2013/2014Spanish Super CupChampions League, European Golden Shoe, Ballon d’Or, Copa Del Rey,
2012/2013Ballon d’Or, European Golden Shoe, La LigaSpanish Super Cup
2011/2012Ballon d’Or, European Golden Shoe, UEFA Super Cup, Copa Del Rey, Spanish Super Cup, Club World Cup,La Liga
2010/2011Ballon d’Or, Spanish Super Cup, La Liga, Champions LeagueEuropean Golden Shoe, Copa Del Rey
2009/2010Ballon d’Or, European Golden Shoe, Spanish Super Cup, Club World Cup, UEFA Super Cup, La Liga
2008/2009Copa Del Rey, La Liga, Champions LeaguePremier League, League Cup, Community Shield, Club World Cup, Ballon d’Or
2007/2008Champions League, Community Shield, Premier League, European Golden Shoe
2006/2007Spanish Super CupPremier League
2005/2006Spanish Super Cup, La Liga, Champions LeagueLeague Cup
2004/2005La Liga
2003/2004FA Cup
2002/2003Supercopa de Portugal

All these statistics are one of the bases for debating who is better than the other. However, one can also reflect on how Cristiano and Lionel raised the bar. Some of these records will go down untouched in history. There won’t be another Messi or Ronaldo in the future of football. Even talent, dedication and commitment won’t be enough to get near those records. 

It is easy to put the likes of Haaland and Mbappe in the same frame as these players in terms of statistics. But you cannot compare them in terms of the value that they have held. Messi and Ronaldo overshadowed every single player of their generation as well as the ones of the future. 

The inspiration to stand on the same platform as these players do has become the driving factor for the upcoming generation. In a world where football saw the shift from individual performances to team efficiency, both these players found a way to shine like Sirius. A star which ah the capability to bring light even in the darkest of nights. Even today Messi and Ronaldo are the players you look up to in the direst of situations.

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