The two giants of modern football have achieved unimaginable heights in the sport and often spur each other on with their incredible desire and tenacity.
Howeverl, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are decisively different individuals with regard to their personalities both on and off the pitch.
While Lionel Messi is known for his creative abilities on the football field, Cristiano Ronaldo has grown into a lethal striker and remains an exceptionally potent force in the final third.
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have defied expectations with their otherworldly exploits over the past few years and their rivalry has also become a topic of discussion in the cricketing community. A sportsperson's opinions are often a reflection of personal choices and characteristics, with the average high-profile cricketer being no exception.
Football is one of the most popular sports in the world and most cricketers of the modern generation are avid followers of the beautiful game. Several cricketers have been asked to choose between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo and have made interesting choices:
#5 Smriti Mandhana (Cristiano Ronaldo)
Smriti Mandhana has been a shining light on cricket's modern generation and has effectively managed to carve a niche for herself in the world's most cricket-crazy country. Mandhana is known for her adventurous approach to batting in the shorter formats of the sport.
The swashbuckling opener has become an experienced campaigner over the past few years and her growing popularity in India has been accompanied by a fair share of spontaneous and interesting interviews.
Smriti Mandhana also conducted a Q&A session on her social media handle two years ago and was asked to choose between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Indian cricketer decisively chose Cristiano Ronaldo over Messi on social media and seems to imbibe his fighting spirit in her batting. Mandhana has also broken more than a few records in Indian cricket and her footballing preferences certainly seem to reflect her aura on the cricket pitch.
#4 Eoin Morgan (Lionel Messi)
Much like England's football team, the country's cricket team has undergone a revolution over the past decade. Under the tutelage of captain Eoin Morgan, England blazed their way to the coveted World Cup in 2019 and changed the landscape of the game with their fearsome displays.
England's cricketers are often asked for their footballing opinions and Eoin Morgan was also asked to choose between two of the sport's modern-day legends in Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Unlike some of his cricketing contemporaries, the England captain chose Argentine superstar Lionel Messi over Cristiano Ronaldo. Messi has personified elegance on the football field for well over a decade now and his feats have been lauded by professionals from a variety of sporting backgrounds.
#3 Shoaib Akhtar (Cristiano Ronaldo)
Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have set several records over the past decade and continue to make history as we speak. In the cricketing world, Pakistani pacer Shoaib Akhtar is no stranger to the record books and has milestones of his own that have become incredibly difficult to surpass.
Akhtar has given several groundbreaking interviews over the past few years and has a myriad of opinions on matters above and beyond the game of cricket. The Rawalpindi Express was asked to choose between Messi and Ronaldo in a recent Twitter exchange and was unequivocal with his decision.
Akhtar currently has the distinction of bowling the fastest recorded ball in cricketing history at 161.3 kilometres per hour. It comes as no surprise that the lethal paceman has a soft spot for one of football's most powerful speedsters in Ronaldo.
#2 AB de Villiers (Lionel Messi)
As far as parallels across the sporting world are concerned, AB de Villiers and Lionel Messi are peas in a pod. The two geniuses have dominated the past decade with their exceptional skill sets and are easily the best in the world on their day.
Like Lionel Messi, AB de Villiers is also known for his reserved and humble nature off the field and remains a popular figure among every fanbase. The gifted South African batsman chose Lionel Messi over Cristiano Ronaldo in a recent video and claimed that the Argentine's ability to get the job done on the field makes him an exceptional sportsperson.
There have also been stark comparisons between the international careers of the two stalwarts. While Ronaldo has also been a massive figure in Portuguese football, Messi and AB de Villiers are viewed as messiahs for their national teams and often have to address the unnaturally high standards that are set for them in their respective sports.
#1 Virat Kohli (Cristiano Ronaldo)
Virat Kohli has captured the hearts and minds of Indian cricket fans with his performances over the past decade. The cricketing stalwart is one of the few batsmen in the world to have perfected the ability to adapt his batting style to all formats of the game.
Kohli has also been a pioneer with regard to fitness regimes and has revolutionised the Indian cricket team's approach to the sport. In an interview with Kevin Pietersen, Virat Kohli chose Ronaldo over Messi and has claimed that the Portuguese superstar's work ethic and passion has been a source of inspiration.
"Lionel Messi is a freak, absolute natural talent, and his ability is second to none. For me, what stands out is the ability or the will to put in the effort in every single minute of the game. Cristiano Ronaldo’s drive separates him from everyone else. Playing at the top level, everyone has talent, but I don’t think anyone has the will that he has."
Messi and Ronaldo have inspired a new generation of sportspersons with their incredible achievements and seem to have contemporary admirers as well. The two behemoths of modern football have carved unique legacies for themselves and have become bonafide sporting legends.
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