Greatest of All Time (Goat) Cristiano Ronaldo

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Messi won his seventh Ballon d’Or on Monday night, beating Bayern Munich marksman Robert Lewandowski to the prize by 33 votes and his old rival Ronaldo – a five-time winner – by 435 votes, who ended up sixth in the voting.

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Less than 48 hours after the Paris ceremony, Ronaldo poured scorn on the Argentine’s achievement by incredibly commenting ‘facts’ underneath a fan post detailing why the Portugal captain deserved the gong over Messi.

The post, on the page of a fan account called ‘Cristiano Ronaldo – The Legendary’ which Ronaldo himself follows, detailed Ronaldo’s 2021 achievements before describing Messi’s accolade as ‘Theft. Dirt. Shame. Simply regrettable.’

The bizarre Instagram post went on to describe Messi’s ‘shame’ in accepting the award he didn’t earn was there for all to see before Ronaldo made the ‘facts’ statement with a thumbs up and looking eyes emoji directly underneath.

C. Ronaldo And L. Messi Have Always Been Compared With One Another

The one-word statement made headlines and has reignited the never-ending debate over which player is the Greatest of All Time (GOAT).

And this isn’t the first time Ronaldo has taken issue with Messi, either.

The two have always been compared with one another, given they have always been in a league of their own for nearly 15 years now.

But while Ronaldo and Messi have largely kept things respectful while battling it out for the GOAT tag, what are the other defining quotes from Portuguese super star that have added spice to their rivalry over the years? Sportsmail takes a look.

Following a stunning season with Manchester United that saw him score an incredible 42 goals in 49 games, Ronaldo was awarded his first Ballon d’Or trophy, beating Messi and Fernando Torres to the gong.

It would be the first time that Ronaldo and Messi would lock horns for the prestigious award and the first notable time Ronaldo would fan the flames in their rivalry.

Lionel Messi

Ronaldo And Messi Have Largely Kept Things Respectfully

After scooping the award, Ronaldo claimed he had no competition for the 2008 Ballon d’Or and that he should’ve finished in the two other podium places.

While his comment was said in jest, it kicked off what would be a rivalry that is still being contested to this day.

‘I am the first, second, and third-best player in the world,’ a tongue-in-cheek Ronaldo said in an interview with Brazilian daily O Estado de Sao Paulo.

‘But there are other good candidates, like Kaka, (Lionel) Messi and (Fernando) Torres.’

After making his world-record £80million move to Real Madrid in 2009, Ronaldo would finally end up going head-to-head with Messi on the pitch in El Clasico.

After landing the first major blow, Messi would emphatically bounce back by landing the next four Ballon d’Ors while also winning LaLiga in Ronaldo’s first three campaigns at the Bernabeu.

The Portuguese talisman would finally get his first Spanish league title under the guidance of Jose Mourinho, leading him to claim that he is the better player despite having three fewer Ballon d’Or trophies at the time.

 

And while Ronaldo confidently claimed he was the better player, he insisted that they shouldn’t be compared because they were completely different players.

‘Some people say I’m better, other people say it’s him, but at the end of the day, they’re going to decide who is the best player,’ Ronaldo told CNN.

‘At the moment … I think it is me. Sometimes (the comparisons with Messi) make me tired … for him too because they compare us together all the time.

‘You cannot compare a Ferrari with a Porsche because it’s a different engine. You cannot compare them. He does the best things for Barcelona, I do the best things for Madrid.

‘I think we push each other sometimes in the competition, this is why the competition is so high. This is why Madrid and Barcelona are the best teams in the world because everyone pushes each other, not just me and Messi but other players.’

 

.While Barcelona and Real Madrid boasted two of the best to have ever played the game at the same time, the debate between who was greater had a new variable added to the mix – which side had the best attacking trio.

The Similarities And Differences Between The Two Groups

At Barcelona, Messi was one-third of the attacking trident alongside Neymar and Luis Suarez while Ronaldo was supported by Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale.

Many pointed out the similarities and differences between the two groups, with Messi forming close friendships with his teammates both on and off the pitch while Ronaldo seemingly had issues co-existing with Bale.

But for Ronaldo, needing to be friends with his teammates was not related to success and he insisted he doesn’t need the same affection the Barcelona trio shared to be great at what he does.

Ronaldo Was Sweeping Up The Individual Accolades

‘How do we know that [their relationship] is that way?’ Ronaldo said, speaking about Messi, Suarez, and Neymar’s bond. ‘It is only because that is what is written.

‘When I was at [Manchester] United, I didn’t speak [off the pitch] to [Ryan] Giggs, [Paul] Scholes and [Rio] Ferdinand apart from the normal ‘good morning’, but we won the Champions League.

‘We talked on the pitch and that is all that mattered. Does it matter that I don’t go out for dinner with [Karim] Benzema or that Bale does not come around my house? It’s not important. This thing about the little meals, the little hugs, the little kisses. To me, that doesn’t mean anything.’

As he accepted the award at the gala ceremony in Zurich, Ronaldo made the sly dig at how Messi was not there in person to see him accept the award.

No player from Barcelona attended the ceremony and elected not to travel for the trophy presentation after the Catalan club claimed their bustling fixture schedule was to blame.

Ronaldo Is Eager To Avoid Football Talk Away From The Pitch

‘I would like to thank very warmly all those that voted for me, the fans, the captains, and the media. Thank you,’ he beamed from the stage.

‘I don’t really have anything to add, awards speak for themselves. I’m really, really happy.

‘I’m sorry that some people from Barcelona aren’t here with us and that’s understandable but thank you to everyone. Thank you for what you’ve given me.’

According to Ronaldo’s own sister, Katia, the word ‘Messi’ is forbidden inside the Portuguese star’s home.

Katia insists that Ronaldo is eager to avoid football talk away from the pitch given their intense rivalry on it.

‘Cristiano knows that outside the door, there’s a whirlwind and he knows that, when he crosses the door from the outside to the inside he is protected. This is where he recharges all his batteries.’

Ronaldo ended his trophy-laden spell at Real Madrid to make a sensational £100m move to Juventus in the summer of 2018.

The forward was looking to add another string to his bow, given the fact he had dominated in both England and Spain up until that point and now Italy was his next destination.

His move to Serie A saw his direct rivalry with Messi come to an end after nine seasons, which saw him offer a direct challenge to the Argentine to come join him in the league.

Messi Is A Fantastic Guy, A Fantastic Player

When asked by Gazzetta dello Sport whether he missed Messi, Ronaldo said: ‘No, maybe he misses me. I played in England, Spain, Italy, Portugal, in the national team, while he is still in Spain.

‘Like me, accept the challenge. However, if he is happy there, I respect him, he is a fantastic player, a good guy but I do not miss anything here.

‘This is my new life and I’m happy.’

In 2018, Luka Modric sensationally broke Messi and Ronaldo’s strange hold on the Ballon d’Or trophy, winning the award in 2018.

Ronaldo and Messi were both tied on five Ballon d’Ors each and were both in contention to win the next one in 2019.

With both entering the latter stages of the storied careers, whoever took the next one of two awards would surely finish with the more golden balls.

An emotional Ronaldo insisted he wanted to be the man to set that record but unfortunately for him, it would be Messi who would go on to claim the gong for a record sixth time months later.

‘I would love [more], and I think I deserve it,’ Ronaldo told Piers Morgan when asked what records he wanted to set before retiring.

‘Messi is a fantastic guy, a fantastic player. He’s in the history of football – but I think I have to have six or seven or eight to be above him.

‘My relationship with him is, we are not friends, but we have shared this stage for 15 years.

‘I have a good relationship with him and I know that he has pushed me to be a better player and I have pushed him to be a better player as well.’

 

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