What do I say about a man who has won everything?
Well, almost everything!
Why almost? Because he still has to win a major international trophy with Argentina. And this is the only argument that is being used against him whenever the discussion of who is the greatest player of all time comes into question.
But with the recently concluded FIFA The Best Football Awards, one debate and that too the biggest footballing debate of the 21st century might be put to rest for now, if not completely buried.
That who is better – Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo?
Well, at least stats and facts wise we have found the answer. It is the Argentine captain who was declared the winner of FIFA’s Best Men’s player of 2019 at FIFA’s Best Football Awards on Monday.
With the recent victory, he has now become the 1st and the only player to be named the best player of the world for a record- extending six time. His previous wins were in the year – 2009,2010,2011, 2012,2015, and now 2019.
So if one thing was constant from 2009-2019, It was Messi winning the best player award and still being the best player on the planet and that too by a mile.
His closest rival Cristiano has 5 player of the year awards and was tied with Messi and coincidentally said this in a recent interview –
“The most golden balls in the history of football. I will love it and I think I deserve it. Messi is a fantastic guy and a fantastic player, but I think after I have six, or seven, or eight then I’ll be more above him.”
With Messi’s recent win he has gone one clear of Ronaldo and he no doubt would be fired up to prove himself again that he is the “Best”. Because in debates like these awards, achievements, facts, and stats play a crucial role in deciding who really is the better player. Even a neutral person who is not pro Messi or Pro Ronaldo, in deciding the best player ever has to consider all the statistics and facts and that is something which has to be accepted universally irrespective of the player’s camp that you are supporting and in the immortal words of Ben Shapiro, I would suffice my argument by his quote – “Facts don’t care about your feelings”.
So, this brings me to the ultimate question – is he the best player of 2019 or all time?
In Basketball we have Michael Jordan, In Cricket we have Sachin Tendulkar, In Chess we have Garry Kasparov, In Car Racing we have Michael Schumacher , In Swimming – Michael Phelps and so on. But in football we have two, Pele and Maradona and now Messi has entered into the fray and has formed a Holy trinity. But out of the 3 who really is the best?
Pele and Maradona have one thing which Messi does not have and that is a World Cup. But Messi has more than made his claim for being the greatest with his exploits for both club and country which neither Pele and Maradona have done individually or combined.
With 34 trophies won in an illustrious career which includes 10 La Ligas, 4 Champions League, 3 Club World Cups, Messi has achieved so much in club football that the moment he wins something major (Copa America, World Cup) with Argentina, the G.O.A.T (Greatest of All Time) debate would be settled once and for all.
He is 32 now and Copa America would be next year where he will be 33 and then the World Cup at Qatar in 2022 where he will turn 35. These two are the last chances he will have to lay claim to being the G.O.A.T and even the hardcore CR7 fans and fans of other players would have no option but to accept this truth.
Till then the race for the greatest is still on and the finishing line is a good 2-3 years away. So, enjoy and savor this once in a generation rivalry between once in a generation players.