G.O.A.T: The Contention in our Generation
GOAT is the acronym for Greatest Of All Time. It is an honor meant to be given to the best player ever in the history of a sport or activity. Football, as a sport has seen a rapid growth in influence and popularity over the years and is currently the most watched sport in the world according to various statistics. Hence, there has been an intense debate over who the Greatest Of All Time in football is. If you are a football fan, chances are you already have your personal pick on this talk as well, but let us do a review together.
Arguably, everyone in the world has heard of the names: Messi and Ronaldo. Football witnessed two of its greatest players in the 21st century and a lot believe that these two have surpassed all other before them and hence the contention about who the Greatest Of All Time should be between Lionel Andres Messi of Argentina and Cristiano Dos Santos Ronaldo of Portugal. This article takes a peak at different abilities of these players
Messi plays two positions mainly- right winger and attacking midfielder. He is well known for his dribbles, tricky runs, body feints, curly shots, excellent vision and passing skills.
Ronaldo on the other hand, is currently playing as a centre striker. He has previously played as a winger and he is well known for his dribbles while in Manchester United and early days in Real Madrid but he is currently well known for his goal scoring, fighting spirit, knuckle shots and stunning headers.
Let us look at how they have both done on some vital aspects of football:
Goals give football its ultimate meaning. It is the mark of separation between winners and losers. Ronaldo is currently the highest goal scorer in football with 810 goals in 1115 appearances while Messi has 761 goals in 967 appearances. There are people who argue that Ronaldo only has more goals because he has played more matches (148 matches) but Ronaldo did not start as a forward, he spent the first years helping in the buildups to goals.
Also, Ronaldo has moved to different leagues, 4 times in total but to 3 different leagues. In football, playerp transfers has always been risky because not all players adapt easily or even at all to a new league. Messi, currently in PSG, has a total of 3 league goals in 21 appearances. This has further been a proof to those that support Ronaldo that player transferring to other leagues is not always easy.
Behind goals, there is always the brilliant mind that made the goal possible. Playmaking and assists go hand in hand and in this field Messi is the bigger bus, totally 328 assists while Ronaldo has 230 career assists. Cristiano Ronaldo’s evolution as a striker has made him to be more of a receiver than the initiator of goals but Messi has continued to play the role of both and even though his goal scoring prowess seem to be on hold right now, he is the leading assister in Ligue 1 with a total of 13 assists. His passing skills are also still very great as he averages 86.1% passes and 2.6 key passes per game compared to Ronaldo’s 82.3% passes and 0.9 key passes per game.
TROPHIES AND INDIVIDUAL HONOURS
Trophies are the crown of winners and in football winning trophies is very important. Trophies help earn respect, differentiate the big teams from the small team. These two players have won quite a lot of trophies at club level and also at country level. Messi leads the trophy hunt with a total of 38 trophies while Ronaldo has 34 trophies
In terms of individual awards, they have both won a lot awards, broken and set lots of records and the key ones are listed below:
7-TIME BALLON D’OR WINNER
6-TIME FIFA WORLD PLAYER OF THE YEAR
6-EUROPEAN GOLDEN SHOE
8-PICHICHI AWARD(LA LIGA TOP SCORER)
6-TIME LA LIGA PLAYER OF THE SEASON
6-TIME CHAMPIONS LEAGUE HIGHEST GOAL SCORER
5-TIME BALLON D’OR WINNER
5-TIME FIFA WORLD PLAYER OF THE YEAR
4-EUROPEAN GOLDEN SHOE
7-TIME CHAMPIONS LEAGUE HIGHEST GOAL SCORER
TOP SCORER AWARDS IN 3 LEAGUES
1 FIFA GOLDEN FOOT AWARD
2-TIME PREMIER LEAGUE PLAYER OF THE SEASON
MOST BALLON D’OR AWARDS
MOST FIFA BEST PLAYER OF THE YEAR
GUINESS WORLD RECORD FOR THE MOST OFFICIAL GOALS IN A CALENDAR YEAR
ALL TIME TOP SCORER FOR ARGENTINA
ALL TIME TOP SCORER FOR BARCELONA
ALL TIME LEADING HIGHEST ASSISTER IN FOOTBALL
MOST GOALS OF ALL TIME IN FOOTBALL
MOST INTERNATIONAL GIALS IN FOOTBALL HISTORY
HIGHEST GOAL SCORER IN THE HISTORY OF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
HIGHEST ASSISTER IN THE HISTORY OF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
ALL TIME TOP SCORER FOR REAL MADRID
ALL TIME TOP SCORER FOR PORTUGAL
IMPACT IN MATCHES AND CLUBS’ LEGACIES
Results matter but it will be so unfair to judge only by the end result of any issue, especially on a debate such as this. Over the years, Ronaldo and Messi have both been praised for their match winning abilities and showing up for their teams when needed the most. Messi has cemented himself as a Barcelona Legend while Ronaldo is a legend both in Manchester United and Real Madrid and getting hononary mentions in Juventus. Nothing can compare to watching these brilliant minds play in their golden age.
All said and done, your choice on who the G.O.A.T is depends more on you and your preferences. People that generally love completeness pick Ronaldo, as he has demonstrated abilities in every aspects of football, from passes, to dribbles, to headed goals, to efficient use of both feet and the excellent fighting spirit. Whereas people that love gentle but super efficiency choose Messi, as he is known to be gentle but deadly, while known majorly as a left footer, he has proven unstoppable anytime he is in the mood, and till date, his playmaking skills are still arguably one of the best the world is seeing.
The search for the G.O.A.T in football is an endless search. Though, there will be comparisons between players but the fact will always remain. Fans will always choose to take side with their favourite. Meanwhile, the conspiracy has been a very good publicity for football.
The controversy over who the Greatest Of All Time is in football is a debatable topic. In the twenty-first century, Messi and Ronaldo are the major opponents.