Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo: World’s Best Current Footballers

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By Joe Plunkett

The game of football has seen some of the most gifted sportsmen possible over the past century. The debate over the greatest footballer of all time includes names such as Di Stefano, Pele, and Maradona, but recently, two more names popped up – Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

The argument over who is the superior player has dominated the sport over the last decade and a half, with the two stars sharing the most elite awards during the primes of their distinguished careers. The team behind Betting-Sites created an interesting infographic comparing the two players, so what do the stats tell us about them?

cristiano ronaldo

As it is in football, great players are serial winners. Messi and Ronaldo can certainly be said to be among the best players ever, and their trophy cabinets certainly justifies that argument. Ronaldo has garnered five UCL and five league titles across two spells with Manchester United and Real Madrid. Messi, on the other hand, has nine La Liga titles and four UCL trophies.

Both players have also won five times each the most prestigious individual award in football: the Ballon d’Or. Messi is a five-time European Golden Boot winner, while Ronaldo has four European Golden Boot awards to his name.

Ronaldo scored 568 goals in 730 appearances for Manchester United and Real Madrid. Messi, on the other hand, has scored 577 goals in 660 appearances for FC Barcelona.

The rivalry isn’t seen just on the pitch; as they have sponsorship deals with rival brands. Adidas and Nike, arguably the two biggest sporting brands worldwide, have tied down long-term contracts with Messi and Ronaldo, respectively.

The biggest part of their rivalry, without a doubt, came from their matches between Barcelona and Real Madrid. Ronaldo arrived in Madrid in 2009 and clashed with Messi in La Liga a total of 18 times. Ronaldo left Madrid and La Liga this past summer, moving on to Juventus in Italy’s Serie A.

lionel messi

Despite both players still playing well, they are now in their 30s, and a question mark remains over how long they can continue their dominance. What is beyond doubt, however, is that there has never been any individual player rivalry quite like this one before.

Check out the infographic below for more information and stats about the game’s two greatest players:

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