Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are widely celebrated as the best footballers of all time – but a number of players reckon they were as good – and could’ve been better than the pair
Lionel Messi settled the age-old ‘GOAT’ debate that’s raged between him and Cristiano Ronaldo when he lifted the World Cup with Argentina on Sunday.
Fans were split over who the best ever was between the pair, but Messi’s World Cup win settled the debate once and for all in the eyes of supporters. The 35-year hit the net twice in open play in Argentina’s 3-3 draw in normal time against France, and hit the net once again with an audacious spot-kick when his side won the subsequent penalty shootout.
And while Messi, who became Argentina’s all-time top scorer in the tournament, and now holds the record for most World Cup appearances, inspired his nation to glory, Ronaldo’s on the hunt for a new club following Portugal’s quarter-final exit at the hands of Morocco.
But although Messi’s pipped Ronaldo for the undisputed GOAT title, his heroics also put the claims from a slew of other pretenders to bed. Over the years, players who never reached the pinnacle of the game, including Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Hatem Ben Arfa, Antonio Cassano, Wesley Sneijder, have insisted they were as good – or better – than Messi and Ronaldo.
Even Mo Salah threw himself into the debate. And here, the Daily Star delves deeper into the bold declarations of the aforementioned stars.