Cristiano Ronaldo’s candid perspective on whether Lionel Messi has ultimately resolved the GOAT debate

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Christiano Ronaldo and Leo Messi (Credits: Getty Images)

Cristiano Ronaldo has already weighed in on whether Lionel Messi’s World Cup victory settles the debate on who is the greatest of all time.

In December 2022, Messi led Argentina to clinch its first World Cup since 1986 in a dramatic final against France, ultimately prevailing 4-2 on penalties after a thrilling 3-3 draw at the Lusail Stadium in Qatar.

It was a momentous triumph for Messi, who had long pursued this elusive title throughout his career, and possibly his final World Cup appearance.

Meanwhile, Ronaldo’s Portugal side exited the tournament in the quarter-finals at the hands of Morocco. While World Cup success holds great significance for many footballers, Ronaldo confessed that it wouldn’t solely define his legacy.

Ronaldo remarked: “Even if I win the World Cup, that narrative will persist. Some people prefer me more, some less. It’s like in life, some prefer blondes, some brunettes.”

“I have always had to prove myself year after year. Winning this tournament would be fantastic, as I’m ambitious. However, if I were told I wouldn’t win any more tournaments, I’d still be content with all that I’ve achieved. My other records will endure in the history books. But of course, having a World Cup trophy wouldn’t be too bad. It would be a dream.”

Cristiano Ronaldo (Credits: Goal.com)

Messi, who clinched his eighth Ballon d’Or last October largely due to his World Cup performance, paid homage to Diego Maradona on what would have been the legendary player’s 63rd birthday. Maradona was a childhood idol of Messi’s, and the triumph was dedicated to ‘all of Argentina.’

Reflecting on his career, Messi stated: “There is no better place than here to pay tribute to him, surrounded by fellow players and a ball. This Ballon d’Or belongs to you and all of Argentina.”

“While individual awards are meaningful, I always stress the importance of the team. This is secondary. Look at [Manchester] City; they have been outstanding and achieved everything last season.”

“I have been fortunate to play for the best team in the world, the greatest in history, and I’ve earned numerous individual accolades as a result.”

“With Argentina, I’ve endured tough times, but I never gave up on winning the Copa America and World Cup. That’s why I’m proud of never giving up.”

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By Ritik

Ritik Katiyar is pursuing a post-graduate degree in Pharmaceutics. Currently, he lives in Srinagar, Uttarakhand, India. You can find him writing about all sorts of listicle topics. A pharmaceutical postgrad by day, and a content writer by night. You can write to him at [email protected]

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