Modern soccer has been mostly dominated by Messi and Ronaldo. Though the two have not been as impeccable as they were prior to 2008, many believe that they are still ahead of the iconic players within their timeframe.
With a combined 11 Ballon d’Ors and countless records broken, it’s really hard to argue that Messi and Ronaldo have surpassed the likes of Ronaldinho, Original Ronaldo, Diego Maradona, and even Pele. However, just like in any other sport, there can only be one greatest player.
According to a recent ranking made by statisticians from FourFourTwo, it was Messi who was hailed as the greatest player of the last 25 years. As expected, his long-time nemesis Ronaldo closed in at second place.
Scoring a total of 743 goals, winning five Ballon d’Ors and five Champions Leagues and dominating Premier League, La Liga and Serie A, “CR7” earned the second spot in the 25 greatest players of the last 25 years list.
But Messi, who boasts 724 goals and six Ballon d’Or and 10 LaLiga titles, topped the list. The 32-year-old has been lauded for being the best all-around player to ever grace the pitch in the last two and a half decades.
In between the given timeframe, Messi managed to score in 21 LaLiga appearances in a row. The Barcelona superstar hit the back of the net against all 19 other teams and recorded a total of 33 goals in LaLiga back in the 2012-2013 season.
Pundits predicted that aside from Messi’s 91 goals in a single year, the record is also unlikely to be broken by any player, not even his rival Ronaldo.
Sir Alex Ferguson chose Cristiano Ronaldo, left, over Lionel Messi, right, when discussing who’s the better of the Ballon d’Or winners. Photo: Getty Images
This season, the Argentine once again beat his Portuguese rival as the more efficient goal scorer in a club. The calculated conversion rate of the top 10 goal scorers in Europe’s big five leagues saw Messi and Ronaldo barely making the list at 9th and 10th. However, the Barcelona captain managed to beat the Juventus ace in terms of efficiency.
Messi was ranked 9th with a record of 18.1% goal conversion rate from his tally of 19 goals. He attempted a total of 105 shots in LaLiga this season, with almost half of them coming from outside the penalty area.
Ronaldo, on the other hand, earned the 10th spot with a 16.2% goal conversion rate. Indeed, “CR7” broke a series of records in club football this season, but he has been the least efficient on the list, scoring only 21 from his 130 attempts.
SOURCE: INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TIMES