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    Lionel Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo

    Over the years, Football fans have been divided in opinion whether it be the teams they choose to support or the English midfielder debate of Lampard v Gerrard. Players have often been compared to others that have never played at the same time together and often compared in both prime times. But one rivalry that has got fans debating for the past 10+ years has been that of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. It has been an age old battle between 2 of European Footballs greatest ever players. The real question though shouldn't be who's better but should we appreciate these 2 great footballers rather than compare them? As we may never witness another battle quite like this ever again. 

    Some fans will argue the case that Ronaldo has been there and done that in conquering the Premier League and then moving to Spain to conquer more records ,and most recently ventured off to Italy for another challenge, where as Messi has only ever played for Barcelona, a team that has had bags of talent over the years with the likes of Xavi, Iniesta and Co. pulling the strings. There is also the argument that Ronaldo has something Messi has failed to achieve in his career, an International Trophy, with Portugal winning Euro 2016. Despite the efforts of Messi finishing runners up on 4 occassions with Argentina. 

    On the flip side, many people argue the fact that Messi is more of a team player than Ronaldo and will pass up oppurtunities to benefit his team rather than have personal glory. Despite having the likes of Xavi, Iniesta and Co. Is Messi the real reason for Barcelona's dominance since the young Argentinian prodigy arrived on the scene in 2004? His own personal records speak volumes as to say that he could light up any team no matter the players that he is surrounded by and if he was to have joined the same clubs as Ronaldo has been to, might of replicated or beaten his rivals records.

    Since Ronaldo's arrival at Real Madrid in 2009, there have been 38 El Classico's with Messi's Barcelona coming out the better with 17 wins compared with 10 wins for Ronaldo's Real Madrid and playing out 11 Draws in the timespace from Ronaldo joining and leaving Real Madrid in 2018. It can also be added that during this time, they have a combined 640 La Liga goals in 601 games. Messi 329 goals in 309 games and Ronaldo 311 goals in 292 games. Both goal ratio's are unbelievable, which seems unlikely to be replicated anywhere else in the footballing world.

    Records and Achievements speak for themselves and these 2 goaliths are not shy when it comes to awards and trophies. Combining the records achieved by both these exceptional players are stats that seems too good to be true.

    1,177 goals in 1,464 games at club level - 
    Ronaldo (592 goals, 793 games) 4 different clubs
    Messi (585 goals, 671 games) 1 club

    Record goalscorers both Club & International Level - 
    Ronaldo (85 goals, 154 Caps Portugal) (450 goals, 438 games Real Madrid)
    Messi (65 goals, 128 games Argentina) (585 goals, 671 games Barcelona)

    Combined personal Awards - 268
    Ronaldo - 135
    Messi - 133
    Both winning the Ballon D'or a record 5 times.

    Combined Trophies at club level - 58
    Messi - 32
    Ronaldo - 26

    Since Ronaldo joined Real Madrid in 2009 - 40
    Messi - 25
    Ronaldo - 15

    Combined Champions League Goals - 228 in 293 games
    Ronaldo - 122 in 163 games
    Messi - 106 in 130 games

    Ronaldo's notable achievements - 
    - Only player to score 50 or more goals in 6 consecutive seasons
    - Only player to score 60+ goals in a calendar year for 4 consecutive years.

    Messi's notable achievements - 
    - World record 91 goals for both club and country in a single calendar year in 2012
    - Only player to win more than 1 Club World Cup golden boot

    Considering all these records, these 2 players will forever go down as Legends. We may never see a battle quite like this ever again and we may never see players destroy records like both Ronaldo and Messi have done over the years. Stats will forever remain and this will forever go down as one of the greatest battles between players in footballing history. There is no comparing these players in their prime, as we are living in the moment of 2 of footballs greatest ever players. But as always, fans will forever be divided as to who is the better player. Should we just appreciate the players while they are still playing? Should we argue as to who was better when both these players retire? 

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