The Cristiano Ronaldo vs Lionel Messi debate is one of the most widely debated topics in the world of sport and in the history of football. The two superstars have been on a different echelon altogether and have dominated football for the better part of two decades, continuing to show their superiority to date.
With 11 Ballons d'Or between them, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have laid siege to football's history books, making a multitude of records theirs. While 35-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo recently tied Josef Bican to become the joint-highest goalscorer of all time, with 759 official career goals, 33-year-old Lionel Messi recently overtook Pele and became the all-time top goal-scorer for a single club (644 for Barcelona).
Having played for Portugal, Sporting CP, Manchester United, Real Madrid and now Juventus, Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 759 official career goals for club and country. Meanwhile, Lionel Messi has scored 719 official career goals for club and country (Argentina).
While Ronaldo has won 30 major trophies (28 with the various clubs he has played for and 2 with Portugal), Messi has won 33 major trophies with Barcelona.
Owing to their superior ability and consistency, these two demigods are almost always compared with each other. In fact, one of football's most-asked questions has to be 'Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi - who is better?'
Arsenal's Mesut Ozil was the latest footballer to be asked the age-old question by a fan during a Q&A session on Twitter, and he sure had an opinion he wasn't hesitant to share.
Answering the question, Ozil wrote, "Messi has proven himself to be one of the best ever in Spain, but Ronaldo was always the best in every country he’s played in!"
Mesut Ozil played alongside Cristiano Ronaldo for four seasons at Real Madrid, where they had an excellent partnership before Ozil moved to Arsenal in 2013.
Cristiano Ronaldo vs Lionel Messi debate could take another twist
As Mesut Ozil reasoned, Cristiano Ronaldo does hold leverage in the fact that he has played for multiple teams in multiple leagues, whereas Lionel Messi has only ever played for Barcelona.
However, should Messi choose to leave Barcelona this summer, there is potential for another twist in the tale. Assuming he does move and continues to perform well at whichever club he joins, Ronaldo may no longer hold that particular piece of leverage in the debate.
Notably, Messi becomes a free agent in the summer. As such, he is presently allowed to talk to other clubs as he looks to finalize his plans for the future.
Published 12 Jan 2021, 14:54 IST