As far as I can tell, this is a debate that will rage on probably until another total shift in the sport occurs. When the players go from human physical specimens to actual robots, and managers are replaced by algorithms that forego Antonio Conte-like outbursts for silent telepathy. And what fun is that!? I just don’t think it can get any better than it is right now.
It is an absolute privilege to be living in an era that boasts two of the top players in the history of the sport, in the same league, and facing each other at least twice a year. Even going beyond that, looking all over Europe, every league is filled with unbelievable talent with diverse skills-sets. It’s truly a pleasure to watch. But let’s face it, two players stand head and shoulders above everyone else and have for a long time.
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have sparred for FIFA’s Top Men’s Footballer for the past decade. In most of these races it’s come solely down to who’s scored the most goals over the past year. Simple, right? Not so fast. With debates over dribbling ability, passing, vision, speed, strength, number of goals scored with which body part, etc. It goes on forever when fans try and convince others of who’s the best. But doesn’t this tell us something about just how closely matched these two men are?
Messi is touted as the natural, Ronaldo a product of training. Cristiano consistently labelled as ‘the best footballer on planet earth’, while Leo calmly resides (according to his believers) somewhere not on this planet at all. And while it’s hard to argue with Madrista’s who faithfully don the #7, it shouldn’t come to one is hero therefore the other is zero.
For anyone who follows me on Twitter (@hollandgregj ) it’ll be hard to see anything but a Messi fan, but I’d like to just focus on the facts here for comparison purposes:
I love a good healthy argument in sports, I believe it’s the fire behind all fans love of their team. It’s the essence of competition essentially, ‘I’m better than you, and I’ll prove it’. The part that I believe can change, is the fans need to show respect to fans consistent with how players respect each other.
Until then, #ForcaBarca