Soccer, like every other sport, has players who consistently battle for the ultimate player crown. These players have, over the year, produced some of the greatest moments in the sport’s history, like in NASCAR betting, where you back a particular driver for his excellent track records, these players get the recognition.
In Soccer, Messi and Ronaldo have been in the center of the greatest of all-time debate for many years. Both players combine to produce some of the best soccer moments in the Champions League, Spanish League, World Cup, etc. However, as marvelous as they are, age is beginning to slow them down, and we might just be moving to a new era.
The GOAT debate is dying, and we no longer have long-standing arguments between rival fans. As a result, we are already moving from the discussion and moving towards a new period in the sport. Let’s look at some of the top five moments these great players share in the sport.
Champions League Final 2009
One of the most significant matchups and probably the match that officially took the Messi vs. Ronaldo debate to another level was the 2009 champions league final. Ronaldo was in his last season as a Manchester United player, and he was the current best player in the world.
Before the match, the boys from Manchester were favorites to win and had knocked out Barcelona in the 2008 epic Semi-Final showdown. It seems they had it under wraps to go back-to-back. However, Messi’s brilliance and Guardiola’s tactical genius made it impossible for Man United to get a single goal or play as they would.
The Iconic Shirt Celebration
Since Ronaldo arrived in Spain, we’ve had a series of iconic El Classico matches. His arrival did not only made the debate grow more potent, but it also drew more action to the Spanish La Liga. We thought we’d seen the best ones with many El Classico matches in the bag, but it doesn’t get better.
However, we saw one of the greatest showdowns after Barcelona went two goals down at the Bernabeu. Ronaldo and Real Madrid were in control, and they could go on to win the league if they could see out their biggest opponent. But Messi’s 2nd-half performance and 92nd-minute winner sent a wave across the soccer world, which led to the iconic shirt celebration.
The Epic Copa Del Rey Battle and Revenge
Both players meet in the League and sometimes in the Champions League, but one of their top iconic encounters for us was the epic Copa Del Rey battle that saw Real Madrid take their 18th title in the competition. The matchup was so impressive, and we saw Cristiano Ronaldo take charge of the match.
The Copa Del Ray battle gave us a thrilling match that ended in an extra-time 1-0 victory to the boys from the Capital city. Although we’ve had other epic showdowns, this one is up there with the greatest.
The La Manita
Real Madrid and Barcelona’s many years of encounter have also produced one-sided encounters with the other experiencing heavy losses. One of the most iconic was the La Manita, where Barcelona saw off league leaders, Real Madrid, who were on a seven-game unbeaten run.
Although Messi did not score in the game, he was pivotal to the 5-0 mauling of Real Madrid, and he produced two beautiful assists to give Barcelona a hand to return to the top spot. The showdown was immortalized by Pique as the La Manita, meaning little hand.
The 2-2 El Classico Thriller
We’ve seen many El Classico matches happen over the years. However, we’ve not seen one in that both players are the main characters. In the 2-2 matchup, both players were on top form, and they each produced an excellent performance that would keep resonating in the history of La Liga matches.
Hopes for the Future
Although we can see age catching up on both players with them entering their late 30s, we still hope for one more incredible showdown. We also hope to see them play on the same team once before closing the curtain on their illustrious careers.