Messi and Ronaldo: between nostalgia for Europe and the present in MLS and Saudi Pro League
By TOI Staff August 22, 2023 Update on : August 22, 2023
Lionel Messi versus Cristiano Ronaldo. Two names that have dominated the world of European football for more than a decade. Two prodigies who have pushed the limits of what was considered possible in football. Two rivals who have sparked endless debates about who was better. Now the Portuguese has decided to go and play in Saudi Arabia with Al-Nassr shirt, with which he was decisive in winning the Arab Champions League. The Argentine has instead decided to leave European football to go and play in MLS and entertain the American crowds, especially that of Inter Miami, who are enjoying Messi’s exploits game after game.
Lionel Messi began his professional career at Barcelona in 2004. From an early age, he’s displayed outstanding skills and accuracy, which quickly attracted the attention of the senior team. Throughout his early seasons, Messi displayed unrivaled ball-handling and goal-scoring ability, earning him the nickname ‘La Pulga’. In 2009, Messi has already won his first Ballon d’Or.
Cristiano Ronaldo, meanwhile, began his European career at Sporting Portugal, before getting noticed by Manchester United. He joined the English club in 2003, where he developed his talent under the guidance of Sir Alex Ferguson. His physical and technical skills, coupled with an incredible goal-scoring ability, won him the Ballon d’Or in 2008.
With Barcelona, Messi established unprecedented dominance in Spain and Europe. From 2009 to 2012 Barça won Liga three times and the UEFA Champions League twice, mainly thanks to the significant contribution of Messi. During this time, he also won three consecutive Ballon d’Ors.
Ronaldo, after winning three Premier Leagues and a Champions League with Manchester United, joined Real Madrid in 2009. Wearing Real Madrid colours, Ronaldo displayed outstanding form, winning four Ballon d’Ors and helping the club to win two Liga and four Champions League. For years Messi and Ronaldo divided Spanish and even world opinion on who was the strongest footballer ever. The duel between the two continued even remotely when Cristiano left Madrid to play in Serie A with the Juventus shirt and Messi remained in Barcelona.
Two years ago it was also Messi’s turn to leave his home to fly to Paris and wear the colors of PSG, Ronaldo left Turin after a couple of seasons to return to Manchester United where, however, despite a first season full of goals, he did not find his old motivation and decided to go to Saudi Arabia. If Cristiano chose the Saudi Pro League, Lionel left the Eiffel Tower to go to Miami and wear the pink jersey of Inter Miami.
To better understand these two sacred monsters, here is a rivalry analyzed in detail by the editorial staff of bwin news.
Messi: number of games played in Europe – 1028, goals in Europe – 807, assists in Europe – 357, badges – 12, won UEFA Champions League – 4, Ballon d’Or – 7 Ronaldo: number of games played in Europe – 1149, goals in Europe – 824, assists in Europe – 234, badges – 7, won UEFA Champions League – 5, Ballon d’Or – 5Read more: Messi and Ronaldo: between nostalgia for Europe and the present in MLS and Saudi Pro League