The Messi vs Ronaldo debate is one that may not end any time soon.
Last week, we saw football fans going all out to embrace and show reference to, without doubt the two biggest football stars since the era of Pele and Maradona.
Two fans went the extra-mile, invading the football pitch to steal a few moments with their footballing icon- one in Portugal, the other in faraway Asia.
The pitch invader in Lisbon Portugal bowed to Cristiano Ronaldo after managing to get a hug from the Al Nassr forward.
During Argentina’s game against Australia in China, another fan invaded the pitch and met Lionel Messi. When he was eventually marshalled away by security, he didn’t mind; he had a priceless look of fulfilment on his face.
In spite of this, the comparison and debate of who the greater player is between the new Inter Miami hire and the former Manchester United player have refused to go away.
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Asukwo Oduo of Pulse Sports, in this article, x-rays 7 remarkable achievements by Cristiano Ronaldo that puts him ahead of the Argentine captain.
1. Won the Ballon d'Or while in England
Before Cristiano Ronaldo arrived at Old Trafford in the summer of 2003, only one footballer plying his trade in England had won the Ballon d'Or.
England wonderkid Michael Owen while playing for Merseyside club Liverpool won the Ballon d'Or in 2001 and since then no other player in the EPL enjoyed such success.
However, that quickly changed when Ronaldo came onboard after Manchester United paid £12.24m for his signature.
The forward quickly showed why he's highly rated by everyone including Sir Alex Ferguson and that he was worth every penny of his then transfer record for a teenager.
Although English clubs have seen some exceptional talents in the likes of Thierry Henry, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, and Alan Shearer, none was deemed good enough to pick up the Ballon d'Or.
Cristiano Ronaldo was the only exception when he won the award in 2008 when he was only 23.
He scored an outstanding 42 goals in 49 matches for the Red Devils as they won both the English Premier League and the UEFA Champions League.
2. Highest International Goalscorer
For decades, Iranian legend Ali Daei held the record for the most goals (109) in the men's international football.
16:04 - 27.05.2023
The Former Real Madrid star explained that his best goals are nothing compared with the intimate time spent with his girlfriend.
However, Cristiano Ronaldo's penchant for goals and his hardwork eventually helped him to surpass the age-long record set by the Iranian footballer.
Ronaldo scored two headers in a 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Ireland to move past the record set by Ali Daei.
Ali Daei, who retired in 2007 after a 13-year career for his country had nothing but admiration for Ronaldo after the then-Manchester United forward broke his record.
He paid tribute to Ronaldo on social media, labelling him a great champion of football and a caring humanist.
Cristiano Ronaldo now has 122 international goals, while Lionel Messi has 103 goals in his international career so far.
3. Best Goal Ratio in LaLiga History
Although Lionel Messi is the highest goalscorer in LaLiga's history, but Cristiano Ronaldo remains the most lethal striker in the Spanish league.
During his 17-year spell at Barcelona, Lionel Messi scored a total of 474 goals in 520 matches while Cristiano Ronaldo notched up 311 goals in 292 appearances for Real Madrid.
Lionel Messi’s goal ratio stands at 0.911 while Ronaldo has a superior one pegged at 1.065 goals per game.
4. Most Followed Footballer on Social Media
Following celebrities on social media is one way football fans show their love and admiration for their favourite stars.
A footballer’s fanbase on social media is also a show of their popularity and how much love and respect they enjoy because of their contributions to their national teams and their clubsides.
When Lionel Messi left PSG, the French club lost millions of followers on social media and PSG’s loss were Inter Miami’s gain as the MLS side quickly gained millions of followers on Instagram.
In the same vein when Cristiano Ronaldo join Saudi Pro League Al Nassr, the TV coverage and followership of the club and the league in general increased tremendously.
Currently, Cristiano Ronaldo is the most popular footballer on Instagram with 591 million followers. Lionel Messi comes a distant second with 474 million followers.
Others in the top 10 most followed footballers on Instagram include Neymar Jnr, Kylian Mbappe, and Kareem Benzema.
5. UCL trophies
Both Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have score over 800 goals in their careers and have led their teams to phenomenal heights.
15:30 - 29.05.2023
Argentine magician Lionel Messi is one of the greatest football players the game has seen.
However, when it comes to the number of UEFA champions league medal won, Ronaldo is ahead of Lionel Messi.
Meanwhile, Lionel Messi is not far behind as he has won the UCl on four occasions with FC Barcelona.
Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, Kareem Benzema, Luka Modric, Marcelo and 5 others have all won the coveted UCl trophy five times. CR7 won one with Manchester United and four with Los Blancos.
He led Real Madrid to a dominant era after they won La Decima in 2014, they went on to make the UCl trophy the ‘sole preserve’ of the Bernabeu side, winning it in three succession between 2016-2018.
However, Spaniard Francisco Gento holds the record for the most UCL titles, having won six in the colours of Real Madrid.
6. UCL Highest Top goal scorer
Still on the UEFA champions league, Lionel Messi emerged highest goal scorer in six seasons 08/09, 09/10, 10/11, 11/12, 14/15, and 18/19.
On the otherhand, Cristiano Ronaldo was named top goal scorer in seven seasons 07/08, 12/13, 13/14, 14/15, 15/16, 16/17, and 17/18.
7. FIFA Pukas award
In 2009, Cristiano Ronaldo claimed the inaugural FIFA Pukas award given by the world governing body for football.
He won the award for his long range strike for Manchester United in the UEFA Champions League quarter-final second leg tie against Porto on 15th April 2009.
The Pukas award is one that has continued to elude Lionel Messi despite being nominated for the award on seven occasions.
In addition to the aforementioned, Cristiano Ronaldo won the league in three European countries, England (Manchester United), Spain (Real Madrid), and Italy (Juventus).
14:28 - 25.05.2023
Former Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo once sparked a debate around the globe after he claimed he was the best player the game has ever seen.
Conversely, Messi enjoyed success with Barcelona before moving to PSG, where he also won the French Ligue 1.
Also, Ronaldo has the most hattricks - having hit an outrageous 62 in his career so far. Lionel Messi has only managed 57.
However, Brazilian legend Pele holds the record for the most hattricks (92).
Ronaldo also won the highest goalscorer in three different leagues; he remains the only player to achieve the feat in the Premier League, La Liga and the Italian top flight.