Did Cristiano Ronaldo And Lionel Messi Change The history Of Football?

With Cristiano Ronaldo now at the age of 38 and Lionel Messi trailing him by just two years, it appears that the days of these two legendary forwards competing at the highest level are numbered. Their recent moves to Al Nassr and Inter Miami respectively suggest that their illustrious careers are gradually winding down. Notably, while Messi boasts a 2023 Ballon d’Or nomination, Ronaldo does not, fueling speculation that he is eager to bring their storied rivalry to a close.

Cristiano Ronaldo, reflecting on their careers, acknowledged that he and Lionel Messi have undeniably “changed the history of football.” Despite the Al-Nassr striker’s omission from this year’s Ballon d’Or nomination list, Messi is once again in contention for the prestigious award. This nomination comes after Messi’s somewhat lackluster period at Paris Saint-Germain, where he spent two seasons before making a move to the MLS outfit Inter Miami during the summer. His resurgence in form towards the end of 2022, culminating in leading Argentina to World Cup glory in Qatar in December, likely played a pivotal role in his inclusion in this year’s Ballon d’Or list. Consequently, Messi is poised to enter the Ballon d’Or ceremony on October 30 as one of the favorites to claim the coveted award.

Ronaldo, a five-time Ballon d’Or winner, transitioned to the Saudi Pro League side Al-Nassr last year, which may potentially rule him out of future nominations or victories. Nevertheless, both Ronaldo and Messi have exerted a dominant influence on the world of football for over a decade and are widely regarded as two of the greatest players in the sport’s history.

Speaking about their rivalry while on international duty with Portugal, Ronaldo emphasized their shared accomplishments, remarking, “Those who admire Cristiano Ronaldo need not harbor animosity towards Messi, and vice versa. We have made significant contributions and left an indelible mark on the history of football. Our influence is recognized worldwide, and that is what matters most. He has followed his path, and I have followed mine, irrespective of our playing locations outside of Europe. From what I have observed, he has excelled, and so have I. The legacy endures, but I do not view our relationship in terms of rivalry. We have shared the stage for a remarkable 15 years. I am not suggesting that we are close friends, as we have never dined together, but we are professional colleagues who respect each other.”

Reflecting on his decision to move to Saudi Arabia, which took place before several high-profile transfers during the summer, Ronaldo added, “I foresaw this development and mentioned it six months ago, even though many thought I was eccentric. As it turns out, the ‘eccentric’ one was not so eccentric, and playing in the Arab league has become commonplace. For me, it was a significant privilege to influence the football culture of a nation and witness the arrival of prominent stars in Saudi Arabia. I was a trailblazer, and I take pride in that. My primary objective is to continue evolving and elevate the league to the highest standards possible.”

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