From Messi to his greatest on-field rival, Cristiano Ronaldo.
It is very interesting that both Messi and Ronaldo emerged as stars at roughly the same time. But there’s no denying that both of them have changed the landscape of football with their jaw-dropping talent and of course, records.
The Portuguese superstar started his career at Sporting Lisbon but achieved worldwide fame with Manchester United where he went on to win three Premier League titles and an FA Cup. He also won his first UEFA Champions League with them, winning it in the 2007-08 season. In 2008, he also received the first of his five Ballon D’Ors.
In 2009, Ronaldo joined Real Madrid in what was then, a world record transfer fee. He developed into a goal-machine at the Santiago Bernabeu, becoming Real Madrid’s all-time leading goalscorer in a stint that lasted nine years. In addition to that, he also set the record for most La Liga hat-tricks and won the Pichichi trophy thrice. Ronaldo also was Los Blancos’ best player when they won the league title in 2011-12 and 2016-17.
Ronaldo’s performance in the Champions League was of even greater proportions as he is the first man to win the prestigious trophy five times. Ronaldo is the highest goal-scorer in the competition’s history and finished as top-scorer in a single tournament, five times.
While he may not have the same number of League titles as his rival Messi, Ronaldo has an international trophy to his name, leading Portugal to victory at the 2016 European Championships. He is also the most capped player for Portugal and the country’s leading goal-scorer. Furthermore, he is the only player to score a goal in eight consecutive international tournaments.
Ronaldo moved to Italian giants Juventus in 2019 and the £104 Million fee was the highest for a player above the age of 30. It was also the highest fee paid by a Serie A club in history.
Ronaldo is, as per ESPN, the world’s most famous sportsperson. According to Forbes, he’s the highest paid football player and the most marketable athlete in the world. A true legend of the game.