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Ronaldo's transfer to Juventus means an end to the Ronaldo-Messi rivalry, hopefully

  • Change cannot be expected overnight, but can we at least phase this out?
Shyam Kamal
Modified 10 Jul 2018, 23:29 IST

FIFA Ballon d
It is time we put the debate to bed

Nine years.

For nine long years, we have had the good fortune of witnessing both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo be part of the same league.

For nine long years, we have witnessed them play an assured two games against one another, sharing the same pitch for 90 minutes.

But now that Juventus have had enough of it, and brought over Ronaldo to grace the streets of Turin, we are no longer privy to those private moments. It is now up to the gods of fortune to decide whether we deserve them playing against one another - and the odds are stacked against us.

But the good news is that this means we can finally put an end to the chapter that has been the Messi-Ronaldo rivalry. I say "we can", because I know that it will never happen in my lifetime. However, hear me out.

The rivalry was existent even before Ronaldo joined the Spanish giants, back when he was banging in the goals for Manchester United. But the rivalry reached its dizzying height only after the move, and it is understandable why.

They played against the same 18 teams twice over the course of a year, and also played against one another twice a year. This way, it was easier to keep score and it was fun watching one of them play on Saturday and the other try to catch up on Sunday.

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It was easier to assess their quality because the quality of the opposition they faced didn't alter too much when the discrepancies over a year where taken into account. It was easier to judge them in the face of a common enemy.

But Ronaldo's move to Italy throws everything out the window. The opponents, the quality of the opponents, the difference in style of play between the Spanish and the Italian league - the differences are endless.

Without a common ground for comparison, how can we pit one against the other? How will it be fair to judge Messi's game against Getafe with Ronaldo's game against Napoli? Will Messi's game against Atletico be a rightful comparison to Ronaldo's game against Girona?

NO - all in capital letters.

For the first time in forever, fans of both fandoms do not know what to do with the stats. For the first time in forever, the Messi fans will miss Ronaldo and vice versa - and sit alone with the records they wanted to shove down through the others' throats.

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But this is all just an empty optimism. If history is anything to go by, this is not how things will turn out. We will continue to get bombarded with intangible minutiae.

People who did not possess the slightest regard for Serie A earlier will now try to convince us as to why it is actually the hardest league in the world to play in.

Fans who favour Ronaldo have it easy here: If he is successful, they can say that Ronaldo has been successful in three Top leagues, while Messi is a one-trick pony. If he is not successful, they can say that he has already been successful in two Top leagues, while Messi is a one-trick pony.

Whatever the case, it will be much harder in the coming days - unless, of course, you are a Juventus fan and/or bought copious amount of Juventus' shares in the market.

The rest of us, we go back to our sad little lives and try to convince ourselves that one is indeed better than the other.

Will you miss the Messi-Ronaldo rivalry in the La Liga? Sound off your opinions in the comments section below!

Published 10 Jul 2018, 23:29 IST
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