4 world class players who played with both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo 

Juventus v Real Madrid CF - UEFA Champions League Semi-Final
Juventus v Real Madrid CF - UEFA Champions League Semi-Final
Dhruv Maniyar

There is a famous football saying which goes like "If an Engineer created the perfect footballer, it would be Cristiano Ronaldo. If an artist created the perfect footballer it would be Lionel Messi".

Whoever your preference is, it is fair to say that Ronaldo and Messi will go down as the two of the best players of their generation. Some people even rank them as the greatest to ever do it. Maradona and Pele clearly have a different opinion.

For more than a decade though, Ronaldo and Messi have ruled over the world of football. They both have won a combined ten Ballon d'Ors ( 5 each) as of 2019 which signifies their individual greatness. Added to that they have been part of legendary teams which has made them better players. Both Messi and Ronaldo over their careers have been fortunate enough to play with some great players.

Messi has got to play with Zlatan, Iniesta, Xavi, Sanchez, Pedro, Aguero, Neymar, Suarez, Puyol, Ronaldinho, Eto, etc. Ronaldo has played with Kaka, Rooney, Scholes, Modric, Giggs, Ozil, Bale, Mandzukic, Vidic and Ferdinand to name a few.

Having said that there are 4 great players I did not mention above who have played with both Messi and Ronaldo.

#1. Carlos Tevez

Wigan Athletic v Manchester United - Premier League
Wigan Athletic v Manchester United - Premier League

People often seem to forget that while Tevez played for Manchester City he also played for Manchester United. This was at the same time when Cristiano Ronaldo was at Manchester United. Tevez, Rooney, and Ronaldo were a defenders nightmare. Tevez and Rooney were in their primes too which made that trio lethal.

Tevez is also Argentian and hence has shared the locker room with Messi. While Messi and Tevez did not hit the heights which were expected of them in the national team, they did have some good moments together.

When asked on the difference between both players Tevez talks about how Messi never hit the gym and Ronaldo was almost always in the gym.

"I've never seen Messi in the gym, just as I've never seen him do technical exercise," he said, according to Calciomercato.

"Ronaldo, on the other hand, instead, was always in the gym. If we trained at nine in the morning, he would train in the gym for roughly an hour before the training even started. The gym became like an obsession for him."

#2. Angel Di Maria

France v Argentina: Round of 16 - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia
France v Argentina: Round of 16 - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

Di Maria played for both Manchester United and Real Madrid, but he shared the locker room with Cristiano Ronaldo only at Real Madrid. Both of them had a stellar partnership and went on to win the Champions League and La Liga together.

Di Maria wore number 7 at Manchester United which was once worn by Ronaldo. Their partnership was so good that Di Maria even gave Ronaldo a rabona assist

As you might already know, Di Maria is Argentinian and has played with Messi in the national team. They have had good moments together but have not hit the heights which were expected of them. Having said that, Messi or even Di Maria are not the only ones who deserve blame for this as the entire Argentina squad has not lived up to the potential which they possess.

#3. Gonzalo Higuain

SSC Napoli v Frosinone Calcio - Serie A
SSC Napoli v Frosinone Calcio - Serie A

Higuain has spent time at Juventus but he played with Cristiano Ronaldo at Real Madrid. He had some good moments but was eventually replaced by Kareem Benzema as the main striker. It would be fair to say that Higuain has had better times at Juventus and Napoli than at Real Madrid. A lot of this was also due to the fact that Ronaldo needed a willing passer and Benzema did that better than Higuain.

Higuain is also Argentinian and has played with Messi. Unfortunately, both Messi and Higuain have had terrible moments individually when playing together. They both were both below par in the World Cup Final which led to Argentina's defeat.

Higuain is 31 now (2019) and some might say is past his prime. While he has not had amazing times with Ronaldo or Messi, he is one of the few players who has got to play with both and that alone makes him a rare player.

#4. Deco

Golden Foot Award - Day One
Golden Foot Award - Day One

Deco in his prime was a joy to watch. With quick feet and a lethal finish, he was a great player. He also is one of the few players who got to play with Both Messi and Ronaldo.

He is Portuguese and hence was part of the national team with Cristiano Ronaldo. He was in his prime in 2004 when Portugal reached the Euro Final. He shared the pitch with a young Cristiano at that time. He played with Portugal until 2010 after which he announced his retirement.

Deco also moved to Barcelona in 2004 which led to him playing with Ronaldinho and more importantly Messi. Much like Ronaldo, Messi was young when he played with Deco, but the greatness could not be hidden for long. Deco would eventually leave for Chelsea and hence could not play with a prime Lionel Messi.

Edited by Rahul Arun


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