Messi vs Ronaldo Era: Is The GOAT Debate Finally Settled After Qatar 2022?

Messi vs Ronaldo Era: Is The GOAT Debate Finally Settled After Qatar 2022?
Image ©Yukihito Taguchi-USA TODAY Sports
Uno July
Author:
Uno July
Updated: 
January 18th 2023

The impact of Pele on global football is evident and a universal acknowledgment of how we ended up with many of the modern icons of today, who have continually carried the torch of GOAT stature and dialogue after so many years. 

All the comforts of home are what we indulged through the sport, entertained and occupying a front-row seat of the longest-serving football rivalry in history, either by use of banter or online gambling. 

When it comes to spectacle and prestige, I’m surprised nobody has ever mentioned that the 8th and 9th wonders of the world aren’t deservingly belonging to Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

2022 is what it all came down to, a year after both icons experienced a twilight stage of their careers, in the wake of transitioning leagues after sharing equal success in their La Liga stints. It seemed like the World Cup hosted in Qatar marked the end of an era to finally put this debate to bed. 

Everybody wanted to see the match of the century where their respective countries would go head-to-head at the finals, but it only proved to be wishful thinking. Alas, Portugal bowed out gracefully after facing a shocking defeat from Morocco in the quarter-finals, while Messi led Argentina all the way to a victory. 

Not to mention, betting took a flight to an all-time high, and congratulations must go to the gamblers who couldn’t afford to miss those opportunities by trusting a convenient online casino available in their state to claim part of the winning spirit.

Toe-To-Toe With The GOATS

We are lucky in our lifetimes to witness such parallels between two career trajectories, simultaneously defining standards of greatness, battling it out neck and neck.

Despite raising the bar in tandem, the story is usually recognized from a winner’s angle. Looking at it in hindsight, Ronaldo grew from strength to strength, starting as a skinny awkward teenager with a fast turn of feet. Essentially a one-trick pony as a youth, he was able to develop his ability and combine his elite physique with astounding technical skill. Fast-forward, his aging became apparent, and that physical edge regressed. The Portuguese striker has since struggled with his natural confines adapting to his worldly-known natural style, giving pundits adequate grounds to blame it on ego or inept capacity of responding to the evolution.

Messi’s shortfall with a deficiency of physical shape within athletic metrics was quite the contrary. The hallmark of the No.10’s style remaining consistent throughout, is the abundant gift he possesses over ball control. Reflecting on his prime years behind him, his football IQ is another thing entirely enduring way beyond an average player.

The Rise Of The GOATS

It takes no genius to define and analyze the impact that the Messi-Ronaldo era has made forever on the football world. Basking in the limelight and upholding the notoriety of being watched by millions of adoring fans, it's documented that their respective careers set off on equal footing.

For about two decades, these goal-poaching legends made football worth watching, contributing memorable key moments and an impressive body of work stemming from Cristiano’s notable stardom breakout with Manchester United at the age of 18, in 2003. Subsequently, an Argentinian 17-year-old would get his fair share of attention as a prospect out of FC Barcelona’s Youth Academy, breaking into La Liga a year later.

Affectionately known as “CR7”, after enjoying a thrilling success of 6 seasons in the Premiership League, a permanent move to La Liga was imminent, knowing Real Madrid’s eye for superstar talents and a knack for making calculated signings to boost their rivalry versus Barcelona - on the heels of Messi’s rise to prominence. Guided by scoring prowess and natural ball talent, it became a growing sentiment the competition between the two along with the two Spanish giants reciprocally took the game of football to the next level, while attracting global attention to the Santander stage.

Leo’s 5-year headstart in La Liga became an advantage by already claiming a Champions League and domestic title. By 2009, the standard was set for Ronaldo to keep up with upon arrival and since then, he showed a strong start responding with no signs of playing second fiddle finishing in all competitions with 33 goals, despite falling behind his arch-nemesis on the Ballon d’Or prize.

Usually, they say comparison is the thief of joy, in any event, the accolades kept coming and numbers were put up on the board. Under the management of Pep Guardiola between 2009-2012, Messi’s name became solidified and engraved in 4 consecutive Golden Balls on top of 2 European championships. He would later win 10 domestic leagues and 7 Spanish Cups, rounding up a total of 5 Ballon d’Ors and 4 UCLs, with an overall scoring tally of 672 marvelous goals during his time at the Catalana side. Adding 122 more thus far, after joining Paris Saint-Germain in 2021, combined with his international games.

As a glaring example under the auspices of Sir Alex Ferguson, Ronaldo’s statistics differ with 118 goals along with earning Premier League and Champions League trophies, setting him up for a great future. Beyond one’s awareness the longevity in greatness was taking shape for the 9 remarkable seasons he would spend at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. Four Champions Leagues titles, a three-peat between 2016-2018, and four more Ballon d’Ors would ensue, attributable to his awe-inspiring 450 goals.

Qatar Aftermath

Qatar came, Messi Saw, and he conquered. Is it pointless competing with the Argentinian captain anymore? Yes of course, FanDuel Sportsbook, and DraftKings Sportsbook are living proof that the game is full of active contenders, amongst them being the illustrious Ronaldo.

A week leading up to the commencement of the World Cup, the silence was broken on disgruntlement issues clashing the former Juventus striker with his unaccustomed management, upon rejoining The Red Devils. Ronaldo, 37, at the height of his 700-goal milestone, it was only a matter of waiting before his name got embroiled in international headlines following a bombshell interview conducted by Piers Morgan.

Without disputing, only unconditional surrender would give him lasting peace in order to embark on a new challenge. Reports were that the striking sensation penned a new deal with Al-Nassr, deemed as the biggest contract ever in sport, earning an estimated $200 million a year.

The man conquered Europe and theres nothing left to be proven, all that remained was to bow out in a more futureproof way for him financially. As a generalization, expanding the world of football and bringing attention to the Saudi Arabian Football Federation in hopes of backing their 2030 World Cup bid became his next endeavor.

World Cup Glory Or Mega Money Contract

Not new to setting many records, the statement signing in unconventional territories now led CR7 out of that conversation of high-level football competition. Speaking of which, the conversation itself needs to start making way for the likes of Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland.

However, in the world of the new Jules Rimet Trophy holder, Lionel Messi currently leads the chat as the undisputed GOAT in terms of ticking all the heralded championship boxes.

Is this where we all finally settle the discussion? Is the World Cup glory or a mega-money contract the end all be all, and the ultimate deciding factor of who becomes the GOAT? Root for your favorites until they choose to hang their boots up. You can use these Caesars no deposit bonus code that is available for $10 worth of play.

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