Why Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are not the greatest of all time in football?

By Lyuthar Jacobs
Apr. 15, 2019

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are the two names which have dominated the football world for a long time. These players surely have the pool of abilities which have been already proven by their crazy numbers of goals and many record breaking performances.  

Moreover, Ronaldo and Messi have swept away the title of many times from various past football legends. Though both of them have an enormous fan following and a significant contribution in football, are they really worth the title?

It might be a ‘yes’ in your mind as the answer for this question but there are many reasons which can negate the fact. It is true that sometimes their fans have just glamorized them more a bit extra.

Why such a comment?

Read on

Never won the World Cup

The World Cup still holds a crucial place in the world of football. But still in their career. Therefore, asserting to be the best at football without bringing the most out of The World Cup is like claiming to be the best athletics without exploiting the Olympics.

Well, it can’t be claimed that the success of a footballer is based on only winning the World Cup. In fact, if you consider Eusebio in 1966 World Cup or Cruyff in 1974 games, you will find that even they didn’t win the game. Still, the stories of these games can never be complete without mentioning their names. Isn’t it so?

Cristiano Ronaldo has not only failed to reach even up to the semi-finals but also never inspired his country to win the FIFA World Cup. On the other hand, Messi was himself disappointed with his home country Argentina, finally losing to Germany in the 2014 World Cup. Moreover, he along with the all his fans got shocked when he was awarded Golden Ball of the Tournament for the title of the best player.  

They are hyped by the football’s most valuable clubs

Messi plays for FC Barcelona and Ronaldo plays for CF Real Madrid in Spain. These are the affluent and dominant clubs in football. So, these clubs can afford the most expensive luxuries. This is one of the most significant reasons behind why Messi and Ronaldo are having such high international profiles.

Besides, today’s game has changed a lot compared to how it was 30 years ago. The 60’s and 70’s players such as Ferenc Puskas, Alfredo di Stefano used to play on plowed field pitches. Therefore, they had to go through the challenge of facing the horrifying tackles from rivals. The experts believe that if Messi and Ronaldo had played back then, they might not have been this copious in their performance.

Both are not football’s greatest goal-scorers

Since the prime objective of the game is to score goals, Messi and Ronaldo aren’t among the best of five goal scorers in the football history. Though they are talented and phenomenal goal scorers, neither of them have hit more than 700 goals in their respective careers. Hence, they are not up to the mark when compared Josef Bican, Pele, Ferenc Puskas, Gerd Muller, et al.

Although these players have the crazy number of scores in any football season, most of the scores have come from the penalty spot. As they were the designated penalty-takers of their respective team, all the penalty kicks have been considered in their goal tallies.  

So, don’t house the misconception in your mind that Ronaldo and Messi are the heroes of Football. They are undoubtedly near the top of any list of best football players in current times. But, it's not like that they are the ultimate best football players in the world.