The comparison between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo accompanied by three decades of football enthusiasts and insiders, but the unusual (and pointed to) World Cup in Qatar had at least one merit, that of putting a stop to the rivalry between the two champions.
Beyond the final which saw the Argentine raise the Cup after scoring in the group stage and in each knockout round, it is the embrace of teammates and fans that made the “last” difference.
The 2022 of Messi and Ronaldo, World Cup and Club teams
Messi was reproached for not shaking off the cumbersome shadow of Diego Maradona and to have given the maximum in the ‘backyard’ of the Barcelonafacilitated by the invention of Guardhouse which moved him to the center of the attack and the ‘tiki-taka’ orchestrated by Xavi and Iniesta.
Instead, Cristiano Ronaldo was looking for an always different bar: from the break with the real Madrid to try to give Andrea Agnelli the coveted Champions League upon returning to a Manchester United who with Ten Cate tried to get back into football that matters.
Qatar bequeaths the image of an icon on the sunset avenue, accused of centralizing the media spotlights to the point of breaking the Red Devils and Portuguese national team locker rooms, and another entry into the myth, alongside the ‘Diez ‘ of Villa Fiorito.
Messi and Ronaldo, the technical confrontation
What about two boys who, with the ball at their feet, made the bleachers boil and called the imitation of the kids in the courtyards? While the first left the defenders with a serpentine on the ground and the trail of ‘his’ class of him, the other subjected the physique to a refinement that would ensure overturns and deadlifts in the hyperuranium.
The brick from which they made the difference is the one close to the spot, because they have a simplicity of finishing, in their football memory, which has overshadowed the great attacking companions (Zlatan Ibrahimovic and David Villa, Gonzalo Higuain and Karim Benzema, ‘ blossomed’ when he was able to take the scene for himself).
Messi and Ronaldo, numbers and trophies of the challenge
The numbers in football don’t tell everything, quite the contrary. But those put together by the rivals of the 2000s are extraordinary, like their exploits. 819 goals each, 793 each other, theArgentina which fleshes out the bulletin board after the America’s Cup of 1993 and the Portugal who raises the first trophies, European and Nations League.
There are those who will end up as the only one to score in 5 World Cups and win the top scorer rankings in the Premier League, Liga and Serie A, with the highest number of appearances and goals in a Selection (196 and 118) and the juiciest booty in the Champions League (141 goals), some have scored like no one ever in a calendar year (91 goals) or in a team (671 Azulgrana celebrations)
The two have reaped trophy after trophy and the Ballon d’Or was the stage where to reckon, this competition was also experienced in particular by Cristiano Ronaldo; and now, having taken for granted the Ballon d’Or number 8 (it will be awarded in autumn 2023, the great rival hasn’t won it since 2017), Messi’s latest goal is to bring the Champions League to Paris together with Neymar and maybe have the romantic catwalk in Rosario.