For a decade and a half, the football realm has been dominated by two individuals- Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. The two players have exercised a sortof duopoly over all the highest individual awards in football for the last 14 years or so.
It's hard to pick between the two and the 'GOAT' debate could remain eternal. Several players have had their say on who is the better player between them and recently Dusan Tadic gave a rather interesting answer.
Tadic says Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo differ in leadership qualities
In a recent interview, Ajax captain Dusan Tadic was asked to pick between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. Tadic was linked with a loan move to Barcelona in the 2020 January transfer window but he ended up staying put.
On being asked about Barcelona's chances in the 2019-20 Champions League, Tadic said,
"Something is missing from the Catalans, besides the injured Suarez. I really can't explain what exactly, but something is missing. Evidently. That's why I don't see Barca in the favourites group. Messi is wonderful, but..."
And then he was asked to choose between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi and Tadic gave a rather diplomatic answer. But it is something that we're used to hearing. He said,
"Things are like this: Messi is the best in footballing terms, but Ronaldo is a real leader,"
"Messi is the best player in the world, but if I have to win a big game I would pick Cristiano Ronaldo in my team."
This is not the first time that Cristiano Ronaldo's leadership qualities and elite mentality has found its way into the GOAT debate. Several legends of the game have given props to Lionel Messi's 'natural ability' and Cristiano Ronaldo's hard work and determination.
However, it would be reductive to say that Messi perhaps doesn't work as hard as his rival. But that he doesn't perhaps have the leadership qualities of the Portuguese is becoming more apparent as Barcelona struggle to steady their ship after the internal combustion that happened at the club.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi made it to the final three of the FIFA Best Men's Player Awards this year but eventually lost out of Robert Lewandowski who was simply a cut above the rest last season.Published 27 Dec 2020, 14:08 IST