Football originated in Britain in the 19th century. Obviously, no one reading this was alive then (laughs).
From the start of the game till now, some people have had their names written down in the history books of the game, and some will never be forgotten.
The word “GOAT” is an acronym for “Greatest Of All Time.”
When we talk about the GOATs in football, we’re so quick to mention Diego Maradona, Pele, Johan Cruyff, Adrea Pirlo, Ferenc Puskas, Alfredo Di Stefano, Michael Platini, and the list goes on and on.
Pele might have scored over a thousand goals and won three FIFA world cups, which sounds almost impossible in recent years.
Maradona might be one of the greatest dribblers of all time, a great leader on the pitch, a world cup winner and many other things he might have achieved….
But what exactly makes Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo better than them?
Well, let’s see…
Firstly Football has become harder.
In recent years, we won’t deny the fact that football has become harder over the years. Humans have become more intelligent, and it’s this that has made football games more difficult.
When Clement Lenglet was asked in a pre match conference how prepared he was against his upcoming opponent, he made it clear that he watches videos of his opponents on YouTube before a match. This makes us understand that information about a player and his team is readily available and can be gotten at a snap of a fingertip.
A player’s favourite position can be known in no time, his style of play, his best style of dribbling, and possibly his next move. All these things can be done just by watching a highlight of a player, which technology has made so easy for us over the years.
A goalkeeper can easily tell which side a striker’s favorite is while taking a penalty. We can see how prepared opponents get when Messi is about to take a free kick, how much defenders try to protect Cristiano Ronaldo from heading the ball during a corner kick and the likes…
This has made fooball a tasking and very demanding job, as players have to devise new means and come up with something different almost every time.
Despite all this, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have proven to be able to adapt to all kinds of changes over the years.
The introduction of VAR and offside rule
The video assistant referee (VAR) is a match official in association football who reviews decisions made by the head referee with the use of video footage and headsets for communication.
This is specifically in order to minimize human errors that cause substantial influence on match results. They check the goals, offsides incidents, and penalty decisions.
All these are products of modern technologies that were not available in the days of Pele, Maradona, and the likes.
We’ve seen cases where players would have committed some cheeky errors and would have assumed they had escaped, only for them to get clear footage of the incident.
I think it’s safe to say nothing secret happens on the football pitch again.
All these have made football tougher, but still, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo still manage to produce exceptional performances. Their numbers speak for them.
Their consistencies Over the years,
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have been consistent for over 15 years (as regards Cristiano’s words in the Ballon d’Or 2018 award ceremony).
These two have been the biggest rivals in football history. I don’t think anyone has ever reigned for that long. For about 12 years, from 2008-2020, the most prestigious football award, the Ballon d’or, has been shared between this duo, aside from in 2018, when Luka Modric won it. Their consistency level is indeed out of this world.
We’ve seen players perform exceptionally over the years, and no one comes close to the consistency of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. It’s more like everyone has their time to shine, but these two will always shine.
Cristiano words in the Ballon d’Or 2018 ceremony: We shared the same stage for 15 years, me and him (Lionel Messi). I don’t know if it’s ever happened in football, the same two guys on the same stage all the time. So it’s not easy, as you know… Of course I miss playing in Spain. We had that battle for the last 15 years, which is good. He pushed me and I pushed him as well, so it’s good to be part of the history of football, I’m there and, of course, he’s there as well. “
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