It’s a media-hyped frenzy, a twisted and stirred individual rivalry which has absorbed millions of opposing fans to wage war on one another.

The apparent hatred football fans have towards, either Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo, cannot be justified by their love of the other; club rivalries run deep but this often has nothing to do with the clubs they play for but is simply down to ridiculous personal preference; it is mere coincidence that they play for opposing El Clasico sides. We are witnessing two of the most outstanding footballers of our generation produce some of the greatest football ever seen yet it is often discredited by an ignorant and an ill-bred fan base.

Messi has rightly stormed to global prominence on his football ability and so has Ronaldo. People who petulantly dismiss Ronaldo’s technical ability and suggest he is just a machine is a huge disservice to his unquestionable ability which is just as defined and as natural as Messi’s.

Ronaldo is often said to be robotic and abnormal in his physical presence which led him to becoming a good footballer. Beliefs like these are bizarre because when a skinny, teenage boy debuted for Manchester United, he was the most gifted player on the park.

He was forced to adapt to the Premier League and his growth from boy to man is probably the most notable and astonishing in football history. He deservedly won the Ballon d’Or in 2008 and has been instrumental in numerous international tournaments since Euro 2004. Moreover, his ‘arrogance’ and aesthetics are often ridiculed and this again is used against his image. Internet trolls, attempting to be fans, undermine his talent and this is hugely dissatisfying to see.

Messi is also attacked by ‘pro-Ronaldo’ fans who are often deluded enough to think UEFA, Messi and Barcelona have secretly aligned and worked together to create the Argentine’s success at the Catalan club. He also apparently cannot perform without either Xavi or Iniesta and is no longer a good player without his assistance.

He has broken uncountable records and still has many years of football ahead of him which is why fans should embrace him and see what else he is capable of. Perhaps his World Cup outings have been somewhat uninspiring but this sole flaw should not invalidate his overarching brilliance.

Fans should embrace and love the two greatest footballers to grace this century and, in time they could possibly become the two greatest of all times. Comparisons between the two are becoming tedious. They each play the most beautiful game but some fans are unaware that their hatred and ignorance is causing detriment, off the field, to the beautiful game. Irina Shayak, to cut a Messi football shirt with a pair of scissors. She correctly declined.


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