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It’s a debate that’s raged for nearly one-and-a-half decades…
But perhaps it’s time to just appreciate that we were alive for a period where two of football’s finest graced the field. Of course, we’re talking about Messi and Ronaldo, both of whom have left Europe for greener (that’s financially speaking) pastures in the last year. Speaking to NBC, Ronaldo has shred his thoughts on their longstanding battle.
“The rivalry is over,” Ronaldo said. “It was good, a healthy rivalry that spectators liked a lot… Whoever likes Cristiano Ronaldo doesn’t have to hate Messi or vice-versa because they’re both very good. They changed the history of football, and they keep on doing it.”
“We are respected throughout the world, that’s the most important thing. He makes his way, I make mine, even if we are playing outside Europe. He has done well, from what I’ve seen, and so have I. It’s about continuing. The legacy continues…. The rivalry, I don’t see things like that. I’ve already said, we’ve shared the stage for 15 years and we ended up being, I wouldn’t say friends, because I never dined with him, but we are professional colleagues and we respect each other.”
A never-ending debate among fans centres on the goal-scoring prowess of Ronaldo and Messi. Cristiano Ronaldo boasts a remarkable 724 club goals over his illustrious career, slightly edging out Messi’s tally of 715. It’s worth noting that Ronaldo’s two additional seasons have contributed to his goal-scoring advantage.
In the realm of assists, Messi takes the lead with an impressive 305 assists compared to Ronaldo’s 204. This statistic underscores Messi’s extraordinary ability to not only find the back of the net but also create scoring opportunities for his teammates.
Ronaldo recently was left off the list for the 30-man Ballon d’Or shortlist for the first time in 19 years, while many pundits are predicting Messi will take out the coveted trophy for the eighth time in his career, having led Argentina to World Cup glory back in December.