The conversation about who is the greatest of all time in any sport is an immortal topic. No matter what era, there will always be comparisons made between players. With no disrespect to the greats who played before, the soccer world is fortunate to live in this incredible era because of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Rivalries between two players are not rare to find, but a clash like the one these two players have is something unprecedented. Never has the world of soccer seen two individuals smashing goalscoring records, winning numerous trophies, and pushing each other to the highest level at the same time. For fifteen years, Messi and Ronaldo have been going at each other. While there is mutual respect between the two, both are incredibly competitive, which could be why they have been at the top of their game for so long.
At the start of 2021, Cristiano Ronaldo officially moved up the all-time goalscoring list, surpassing Brazilian legend Pele to move up to 2nd of all-time. Ronaldo has an incredible 758 goals to date, and the 35-year old does not look like he’s stopping anytime soon. Ronaldo is only two goals from surpassing the first in the all-time list Josef Bican, whose career tally is 759. What Ronaldo has achieved has been nothing short of phenomenal. We are witnessing something remarkable from him. He is indeed an embodiment of greatness.
When fans put things into perspective, Ronaldo’s record-breaking moment happened only a few days after Messi set the record for most goals with a single club. These two stars can’t seem to stop producing incredible numbers. Even when they play in different leagues, they can’t stop one-upping each other and raising the standard of greatness in soccer. What’s even more incredible? Messi is only a few goals behind with 715 goals, which makes the reality that these two end up as the 1 and 2 for all-time goals extremely possible.
As both players are going into the tail-end of their careers, perhaps it’s time we stop comparing and simply appreciate their greatness. We never want to think about the game after they retire, but the time for that may soon be approaching. Ronaldo will be 36, while Messi will be 34. We don’t know how long these two have left, so as fans of the sport, let’s appreciate them while we still can.