Yesterday’s matches were awful for me, not least because after watching all three games I also ended up missing all three goals live. It’s safe to say that the football played in the three matches was also not good enough to warrant the five hours I spent watching them yesterday.
Instead of talking about Uruguay, Portugal or Spain’s gripping single goal wins. Today’s column is going to talk about the ongoing and inevitable debate surrounding Messi and Ronaldo. After Ronaldo’s hat-trick against Spain last week and Messi missed a penalty against Iceland the debate seems to have taken a new form and guise.
The recent slamming of Messi has occurred after Argentina drew to Iceland, just a shame that Portugal did the exact same two years ago in their opening fixture of Euro 2016. A tournament which has also been used to belittle Messi given his lack of success with Argentina. However, Ronaldo exited the final after 25 minutes and ex-Swansea striker Eder netted the winner, this is your barometer for who is the greatest ever?
I have been of the belief that Lionel Messi is the greatest football player to ever exist since the 2011 Champions League Final. This man has done things with a football that I can’t even understand, let alone replicate. Pep Guardiola’s spell at Barcelona is something that when I was growing up I became enchanted with as Barcelona secured two Champions League titles in three seasons. The football played in that era, from 2008-2012, is the absolute pinnacle of footballing purism.
Whilst of course I do appreciate the success of Ronaldo. What he’s done since 2015 has been nothing short of remarkable. Three Champions League’s in a row and an international trophy, this era of football will always be remembered for its record breakers.
Whilst I may take a point that Ronaldo is the greatest competitor in footballing history, I fail to see any other alternative than Messi for the greatest football player ever. Aesthetically speaking there’s something much more satisfying watching Messi play than Ronaldo. This is not to down play the remarkable records, milestones and achievements that Ronaldo has accumulated throughout his career. But in 20 or 30 years people will look back on this era in terms of Balon D’or and believe that the contest between Messi and Ronaldo is close. Whilst Ronaldo is undoubtedly top five to play the sport Messi will always remain an echelon above.
Whatever happens this tournament, let’s not forget that Messi is the real GOAT.