The question above has been in the minds of football lovers for decades. We are all well acquainted with the amazing feats of these two footballers. Still, many people wonder why they have been titled the “GOATs”. These two living legends have been at the forefront of football and they’ve permanently stamped their place in history. The two living legends have won a vast number of awards and titles, but don’t take our word for it, read the article for yourself and see.
In this article, we’ll take a look at who these two footballers truly are, their interesting histories, the incredible stories surrounding them, and the reasons why they are regarded as the GOATs as far as football is concerned. First, what is a GOAT?
What the term GOAT means
Newbies to the world of football might wonder what GOAT means. The same thought would cross the mind of a confused internet user seeing the term being used for humans. Well, we want to assure you today that when the term GOAT is used, we are not referring to a farm animal. GOAT or G.O.A.T stands for Greatest Of All Time. It is a term used to describe a sports star that is exceptionally talented and super successful. The throne of the GOAT is usually occupied by an individual who has made a significant mark in his chosen field. This person must have been able to prove beyond reasonable doubt that they are better than both their contemporaries and predecessors. Apart from Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, some other sports stars who have snagged the title of GOAT are LeBron James, Serena Williams, Muhammad Ali, and Usain Bolt.
A brief history of Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo’s full name is Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro and he was born on 5th February 1985 in Funchal, Madeira, in Portugal, which means he is 36 years old at the time of writing this article. It may surprise you to know that Ronaldo was added to Cristiano’s name in honor of his father’s favorite actor Ronald Reagan who was also the U.S president when Cristiano was born. Ronaldo started his football career at the age of 8 with a youth team Andorinha. As a proactive tall player reaching up to 6 feet 1 inch, he easily stood out as a remarkable player on the pitch. Armed with a bag of cool, crisscrossing foot tricks, he quickly evolved from being a right-winger to a forward with a free-reined attacking style. This fastest football player has broken several records which we’ll take a look at soon.
A brief history of Lionel Messi
On the other hand, Lionel Messi’s full name is Lionel Andrés Messi. He was born on 24th June 1987 in Rosario, Argentina. At the tender age of 5, he started playing football for Grandoli after which he went on to play for Newell’s Old Boys. Messi quickly proved to be a trailblazer on the field even though he was diagnosed with a growth hormone when he was 11 years old. For a while, there weren’t any sufficient funds to treat the illness until Carles Rexach (the sporting director of FC Barcelona at the time) offered to pay for the medical bills on one condition: that he comes over to Spain to start a new life and play football. Moving to Europe proved to be a great move, since Messi quickly stood out as one of the best players, scoring 35 goals in 30 matches for the Barcelona B team. Messi’s flair for goal scoring and record-breaking did not start today. He began to break records at an early age becoming the sixth youngest player to score at the FIFA world cup when he made his debut.
So we’ve taken a sneak peek into the amazing stories surrounding these players. Now, let’s move on to the reason why we are here: why they are called GOATs.
Reasons why Cristiano Ronaldo is regarded as the GOAT
He is the first player to ever score a goal in every minute of the 90 minutes:
Ronaldo is the kind of football player to be feared on the pitch. This is because he has proved to be an unstoppable force in every single minute of the 90 minutes allocated for a match. His appetite for goals pushes him to deliver his very best from the very second that the game begins to the time when it ends. If you think it is impossible to score in every single minute of the total 90, think again. A few other players like Zlatan Ibrahimovic have achieved this extraordinary feat. Cristiano Ronaldo broke the record in 2014 when he became the first football player in history to score in every single minute of the 90 throughout his career as a footballer. Believe us when we say he hasn’t stopped since.
He has the best goals per game ratio in La Liga game history:
Ronaldo has scored 285 goals in just 265 appearances. This puts him at the top as the football player with the highest goals per game ratio in the La Liga game history. Ronaldo, who is an impressive goal scorer, has a La Liga goal-to-match ratio of 1:08 which is quite impressive we must say.
He is the first player to finish as the top scorer in the English Premier League, La Liga and Serie A:
Cristiano Ronaldo is no stranger to breaking records, but this feat is particularly incredible. He finished the 2020/2021 campaign as the Serie A’s top scorer, achieving this same feat in the Premier League and La Liga. He achieved this by scoring 81 goals in 97 appearances for Serie A and 101 goals in total from 133 games. While he was in Manchester United in 2007-2008, he was the Premier League’s top scorer with a total of 31 goals. Not surprisingly, he won the Ballon D’or later in that same year.
He is the first player to ever score in 10 consecutive international tournaments:
Cristiano Ronaldo has proved to be a man of many “firsts” and a world-class player because of his consistency in scoring goals virtually anywhere he goes. Ronaldo doesn’t just score only in his club or on the local scene, he takes it a notch higher and performs excellently on every international stage he graces. From a period of 2004 up to 2019, Ronaldo snatched the record of being the first player to score in 10 consecutive international tournaments. These include big names like the World Cup, Confederations Cup, and Euros. Let’s be reminded that he holds the record for scoring against the highest number of national teams which is about 41 different national teams! With a record like that, it’s not hard to see why he is addressed as the GOAT.
Cristiano Ronaldo has unbelievable skills on the pitch:
Of course, Ronaldo is a formidable player on the pitch, but that may not even be what earned him the title of the GOAT. One of the top reasons is simply because he is fun to watch. He is quick, tricky, and brilliant with his use of the ball. Ronaldo also has a great heading ability and he has an amazing use of his right foot which is a plus to him on the pitch. The fact that he is versatile when it comes to playing football and scoring makes him an absolute favorite. He easily maneuvers the ball and confuses his opponents with his sleight of foot. His cool footwork skills are what make him a pleasure to watch.
Cristiano Ronaldo is a record-breaker:
Breaking records seems to run through Cristiano Ronaldo’s blood. He holds several records and he’s always on the move to break new ones. Throughout his career with Sporting CP, Man United, Real Madrid, Juventus, and Portugal, Ronaldo has broken several records. He has 3 premier league titles, 2 La Liga titles, and a couple of other titles to his name. For Portugal, he has scored the highest number of goals in the history of international football. He is the first and only football player to score 10 international hat tricks. Let’s not also forget that he also holds the record for being the first player to captain his team to victory in a major tournament win in the Euro 2016. For Real Madrid, Ronaldo has the record for being their top goal scorer with 450 goals. He also holds the record for the most hat tricks than any other Real Madrid player with the number placed at 48. Another major highlight for Ronaldo is holding the record for the most goals scored for Real Madrid in a single season with 61 goals. Ronaldo has also broken a couple of goals record for Manchester United. He is the only Manchester United player to get the title of FIFA world player of the year and to win both the European Golden Shoe and the FIFA Puskas award. Even during Ronaldo’s transfer to Real Madrid, he still broke another record by generating the highest transfer fee Manchester United had ever received which was about €80 million. For Juventus and in Serie A, Ronaldo is the fastest player to ever score 100 goals for Juventus. He holds the record for the highest number of goals scored in a single season with 37 goals in 2020. Another incredible record that he holds is being the player who holds the record for the longest consecutive run of matches scoring for Juventus in Serie A. He broke this record with 11 matches in a row. Not surprisingly, he is the most expensive player in the history of Italian football. His transfer from Real Madrid to Juventus was worth €100 million which is a relatively huge amount of money for a player transfer.
Ronaldo has over 1,000 official football appearances:
Ronaldo is one of the few players to have over 1,000 official football appearances. He has also scored up to 798 senior career goals for his club and country (with the aim of making it 800 goals in the international break). The fact that he consistently performs excellently across all the teams he plays for is what lends to him acquiring the title of the GOAT in football. No matter which team he plays against, Cristiano Ronaldo always seems to shine on the pitch.
Reasons why Lionel Messi is regarded as the GOAT
Lionel Messi holds the record for the player with the highest number of the European Golden Shoe:
Every true football fan knows how prestigious the European Golden Shoe is. This award which is also called the European Golden Boot is an award that is given during each season to the top goal scorer from the top division of every single European national league. The trophy comes in the form of a golden football boot, thus it is easily recognizable. Lionel Messi has won this well sought-after award for a record 6 times which is more than any other player. He also holds the record for the highest goals and highest points in a single season.
He has won the pichichi (La Liga’s top scorer award) for a record 8 times:
The pichichi is the official award for the leading goal scorer in every La Liga season. The amazing thing is not that Messi has won Spain’s top scorer award, but that he has won the award a record 8 times. This is an amazing feat that is not easy to achieve since it is more than any other player in the world.
Lionel Messi is a La Liga top scorer:
The extremely talented player is the all-time top scorer in La Liga history. He holds the title with an amazing 474 goals to his name. The fact that Messi is a top goal scorer in La Liga shouldn’t be news to any updated fan. In the 2011-2012 campaign, he scored an impressive 50 goals. This made him the football player with the highest number of goals in a single La Liga season. It might also interest you to know that Lionel Messi is the only player to hold the record of getting the award of the top league scorer in up to 8 different seasons.
He won the best player award at the 2014 world cup:
Lionel Messi won the Golden Ball award for best player of the world cup in 2014. He won this award out of a cutthroat list of 10 other candidates who were announced on the eve of the final.
He holds the record for the player with the highest number of Ballon D’or awards:
Most football fans should be familiar with the Ballon D’or since it is one of the most prestigious awards for footballers. It is an annual football award presented by the French news magazine. Messi holds a record of 6 Ballon D’or awards which is the highest for any professional footballer. Speculations have already been going around that Lionel Messi has already been informed that he has won his 7th Ballon D’or. Whether this is true or not is unclear at the moment, but we’ll get to find out by 29th November which is the scheduled time for the Ballon D’or to be awarded.
He has a phenomenal goal-scoring record:
Lionel Messi is synonymous with goal scoring. He has scored about 782 goals for his club and his country. He holds the record for the highest number of goals in La Liga, the highest hat tricks in La Liga, joint-highest hat tricks with Ronaldo in the UEFA champions league, the most assists in La Liga, and a couple of other amazing goal records. These impressive goal-scoring records prove just how talented and creative Lionel Messi is.
He has a distinctive style of play:
Messi has an amazing playing style. He has the exceptional passing ability and even in the heat of the game, he is easily able to spot his teammates with incredible precision. Messi’s strongest foot is the left one and he uses it so well that there isn’t a need to compensate for anything. Messi has mastered the art of spot-kicks and he is a world-class expert at curving the ball accurately with just enough precision to get it from over the wall into the net. Another important thing to note is that Messi is a fantastic dribbler and a playmaker. His phenomenal ability to assist also contributes to his image of being an outstanding football player. Football fans from all over the world adore the mesmerizing style of Lionel Messi’s football playing.
With these detailed points, it’s easy to see why both Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are regarded as the GOATs in football. Their style of play, consistency, exceptional talent, and dedication make it easy for them to hold the title.
The overall thing that makes them the best is their consistency in football from their youth even till now that they are older. These two football players have entertained us for years with their creative football playing styles and their intense passion for goals. The debate of who is the overall GOAT will continue for decades to come, and we may never know who takes the overall crown, will we?