Rivalry is a key element of any sport—and recent years in soccer have been dominated by the debate between fans of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. The age-old question of Messi vs Ronaldo rivalry can be partially answered by tracking their performance in the rankings or watching the excellent matches in which these two players have faced each other. Even in video games you can check their rankings and effectiveness – see our article on FIFA 22 top players.
This has been the case for most of the last 10 years, but times change all the time. The Ronaldo vs Messi rivalry has been extremely heated at times, with both players giving each other derogatory nicknames and trying to outdo each other in ads and social media campaigns as they compete for first place in La Liga. Many hope that FIFA World Cup 2022 will allow these two of the greatest players ever to set foot on a football field to resolve their infamous feud.
There are also some that think that FIFA World Cup 2022 will be the last major event these two players will share. Messi and Ronaldo are now well into their 30s. Although it's hard to imagine these days, the time will soon come when they will stop playing soccer. The Portuguese captain's decision to leave Spanish soccer ends a certain era.
Are Messi and Ronaldo getting older?
Over the past ten years, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have been the best players in the Champions League. However, for the first time in 15 years, neither player will be in the semifinals of the competition this year. While they will be in FIFA World Cup 2022, they will be there as best national players—not necessarily as club representatives. The Portuguese won five medals and the Argentinian four, but it is looking more and more like their halcyon days are over.
Both Messi and Ronaldo are true aces when it comes to scoring goals. The Messi vs Ronaldo rivalry caused amazing records in the UEFA Champions League, where Ronaldo has won the top scorer position seven times and Messi six times. Cristiano scored 130 goals and assisted on 38 others, while Messi scored 115 goals and assisted on 33.
Although Messi and Cristiano found their way into the Champions League this year, neither did particularly well. Messi scored three goals, while Cristiano scored four. It seems that their star is starting to wane, as Robert Lewandowski scored 14 goals in eight games and Erling Haaland scored eight goals.
Ronaldo vs Messi: experience and decline
It is often said that sports are good for you—but professional sports can nevertheless majorly exhaust a player and cause long-lasting health issues. Cristiano, reportedly, is finding it difficult to cope with playing for Real Madrid. Although he played well for Juventus, he has not been able to repeat the success he had, in the Spanish capital. Lionel Messi, on the other hand, has squandered his chances to win games again, and it looks like his FC Barcelona team is nearing the end of a great golden era.
What's more, their last big wins were a few years ago. Cristiano Ronaldo recently quashed rumors about his future, saying that his main goal is to finish the season well with the Italian team. Slowly, however, their weaknesses are coming to light and the Messi vs Ronaldo rivalry might end soon.
The end is near — excellent documentary!
YouTuber Lorenzo F7 filmed a mesmerizing “documentary” about the Ronaldo vs Messi famous rivalry, presumably to prepare us all for the end of their soccer careers. It can be found on YouTube under the title Cristiano Ronaldo & Lionel Messi—THE END IS NEAR
It shows them as young players before Ronaldo qualified for Man United and Messi for Barcelona's first team. Things got better when Ronaldo signed with Real Madrid in 2009 and joined Messi in La Liga, and then the documentary really picks up as we see their rivalry. It implies that soon they will leave professional soccer as players for good—as usual, they might shift to coaching after the FIFA World Cup 2022.
As Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi's time in the spotlight comes to an end, their place is beginning to be taken by other top players such as Haaland, Kylian Mbappé, Raheem Sterling and Joao Felix. Many fans point to Robert Lewandowski—but the Pole is of a similar age as Messi and Ronaldo. Perhaps Lewy will be at the top for a year or two… but as it happens in soccer, his place will be taken by younger players.