Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have aged like fine wine and look to play on well into their 30s. The pair are two legends of the game and continue to set the standard in world football, as they look to enjoy the twilight years of their careers at the top level.
While Lionel Messi has been a one-club man with Barcelona, Cristiano Ronaldo has produced the goods for Manchester United, Real Madrid and Juventus after bursting onto the scene at Sporting CP as an exciting teenager. With a staggering 11 Ballon d'Or awards between them, the two destructive attackers have dominated the modern era and won countless accolades for club and country.
The age-old debate about who the better player is between the two has divided opinion over the years. And it could be argued that former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson summed up the situation perfectly.
Sir Alex Ferguson settles the Lionel Messi v Cristiano Ronaldo debate
When quizzed about the matter in 2015, the Scot explained the situation in refreshingly honest fashion. While Ferguson acknowledged Lionel Messi's brilliance, he went on to add that Cristiano Ronaldo could score goals for pretty much any club in world football.
"People say who is the best player in the world? And plenty of people quite rightly say Messi - you can't dispute that opinion."
"But Ronaldo could play for Millwall, Queens Park Rangers, Doncaster Rovers… anyone, and score a hat-trick in a game. I'm not sure Messi could do it."
"Ronaldo's got two feet, he's quick, great in the air, he's brave - Messi's brave, of course. I think Messi's a Barcelona player."
Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi prepare to lock horns later this year, with Barcelona and Juventus drawn in the same UEFA Champions League group this season. The pair have never met in the group stages of the competition and didn't get to do battle when the two sides met earlier, as Cristiano Ronaldo was forced to self-isolate after testing positive for COVID-19.
Nevertheless, the two legends of the game will take to the field later this month in what promises to be one of the most exciting games to look forward to.
Published 16 Nov 2020, 15:25 IST