Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo? More than 100 past and present players take part in survey to decide who has had a better career

100 past and present footballers weigh in on whether Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo has had a better career
100 past and present footballers weigh in on whether Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo has had a better career

In a recent survey conducted by The Athletic (via Mirror) of 100 footballers (retired and playing), when asked to choose between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in terms of career success, a clear majority voted in favor of Ronaldo.

As per the results of the survey, 66% of the participants opined that Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo has enjoyed more success on the pitch. Only 34% were of the opinion that Lionel Messi has accomplished more.

The two have enjoyed highly successful careers. They've won virtually everything at club level. On an individual level, Lionel Messi comes out on top with seven Ballon d'Or awards while Cristiano Ronaldo has five.

Ronaldo has enjoyed league success in three different countries (England, Spain, and Italy), while Messi has won league titles in Spain and France. Ronaldo has three Premier League titles and a couple of La Liga and Serie A triumphs to his name. His five UEFA Champions League titles set him apart from Messi.

Messi won La Liga 10 times with Barcelona and picked up the Ligue 1 title last season with Paris Saint-Germain. He has four triumphs in the Champions League. Both players have one major trophy with their national teams. Ronaldo won EURO 2016 with Portugal and Messi guided Argentina to the Copa America title last year.


Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are enjoying contrasting campaigns this season

As part of the survey, the 100 participants were also asked which player they would prefer as a teammate. An overwhelming majority voted in favor of Lionel Messi, with 73% wanting to play alongside the PSG star. Meanwhile, Cristiano Ronaldo had the vote of just 27% of players.

While both players have had great careers, FIFA World Cup glory is the one thing missing from their CVs. With the main event in Qatar roughly 50 days away, both players will be looking to change that. It will likely be the final World Cup of their careers.

Lionel Messi has hit a rich vein of form and scored four goals in two friendly games for Argentina during the international break. Cristiano Ronaldo, on the other hand, came up short as Portugal failed to make it to the UEFA Nations League semi-finals.

La Pulga has also enjoyed a better run at club level, scoring six goals in Ligue 1 for PSG. Meanwhile, Ronaldo is yet to open his account in the Premier League with Manchester United.

While the Messi-Ronaldo debate will continue to rage on, their performances at the World Cup in November will help them earn a decisive lead over each other.

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Edited by Nicolaas Ackermann
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