The Greatest Player of All Time: A Debate for the Ages

Over the past two decades, football enthusiasts have been privileged to witness the spectacular careers of two of the game’s most iconic figures: Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. As these legends near the end of their playing days, their unparalleled achievements, extensive trophy collections, and record-shattering performances cement their legacies as the epitome of football greatness.

The question is whether between Ronaldo and Messi, who is better. Recently, the newspaper 90min gave parameters to answer this question.


Ronaldo is almost 2.5 years older than Messi. Therefore, the Portuguese superstar obviously plays more games than his colleague. To date, CR7 has played 1,220 professional matches. Meanwhile, Messi’s figure is only 1,058 games.

With more opportunities to play, Ronaldo is ahead of Messi in terms of goals. At this point, CR7 has bagged 890 goals, well ahead of Messi’s 833. However, in terms of goals per game, Messi leads with 0.78 goals/game compared to Ronaldo’s 0.73.

In terms of creative ability, Messi is superior to Ronaldo. Currently, the Argentine superstar has 372 assists. Ronaldo only has 250.



If we look at the number of titles he has, Messi continues to surpass his colleague. So far, Messi holds the record with 44 titles, including 4 C1 Cups, 12 national championship titles and, most importantly, the world championship.

On the opposite side, Ronaldo has bagged 35 titles so far. In terms of major titles, Ronaldo has not yet owned the World Cup like Messi. However, CR7 has the right to be proud of what he has achieved by winning the C1 Cup 5 times and winning the historic Euro Cup with Portugal.

In terms of individual titles, the Ballon d’Or is the most important measure. Here Messi has 8 Ballon d’Ors, Ronaldo only has 5.


Ronaldo and Portugal won the historic Euro Cup


Messi was even more impressive when he “led” Argentina to win the 2022 World Cup.

Experts, teammates

In debates about who is the best footballer, only a few names are mentioned. Pelé, Diego Maradona and Johan Cruyff are some of them. However, nowadays, most fans and players believe that Messi and Ronaldo are the best players.

Among the three legends mentioned above, Pelé is the only one who believes that Ronaldo is better. Sharing 2020, the late Brazilian legend revealed: “Now the best player is Ronaldo. I think he is number 1 for his perseverance. But you can’t ignore Messi.”

On the opposite side, Maradona and Cruyff thought Messi was better. Golden boy Maradona once said: “I don’t remember the last time I saw Messi play badly. “I like Messi more than Ronaldo, but I also know that Ronaldo is very good.”


Maradona believes that Messi is better than Ronaldo

Cruyff emphasized teamwork. “Messi plays much more with his teammates than Ronaldo. He scores goals but also gives many assists. For me, Messi is better.”

Of course, both Maradona and Cruyff have a connection with Messi. But some names who have played alongside Ronaldo, such as Modric or Ramos, have admitted that Messi is the best in the world.

In April, the Daily Mail published a video interviewing 34 famous players to see if they choose between Ronaldo or Messi. Here, 30 people leaned towards Messi.


According to the important parameters above, Messi seems to be ahead of Ronaldo. 90min also agrees with this. “The statistics and awards show that Messi is the best player. Many football stars also agree, although Ronaldo is also following very closely,” states 90min.

Ronaldo is a symbol of physical strength and remarkable discipline. Messi has a natural talent that has been perfected over time. Both have their own strengths. Therefore, the argument about who is better will never end.


The debate about Messi and Ronaldo, who is better, will never end

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