Who’s better: Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi?
It’s the age-old question that has dominated this generation - but isn’t it time we ditched the exhausted debate?
Messi’s two new best friends - Luis Suarez and Neymar - have helped the Argentine reach greater heights at Barcelona, whilst their well-documented penalty kick was a focal point of Ronaldo’s press conference prior to Real Madrid’s Champions League clash with Roma last week.
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The ex-Manchester United star proceeded to storm out of the press room when his form was also brought into question, despite being second in the La Liga scoring charts and accounting for nearly a third (22) of Real Madrid’s league goals (71) this season.
And can you blame him?
Here is a man that has broken record after record at one of the most famous clubs in world football, yet the success of Messi and others seem to pale his exceptional efforts into insignificance.
To put one of those into context, Ronaldo became Real’s record goalscorer in less than half the time Raul spent at the Bernabeu and in doing so managed the feat with more goals than appearances - 324 in 308 games.
There is little doubt if Messi had never made it as a professional, Ronaldo would be world football's undisputed best player.
The ‘Ronaldo vs Messi’ debate is clearly affecting the Portuguese winger and perhaps it has dragged on a little too long for him to bear.
The degree of success achieved by the two in comparison doesn't work in Ronaldo's favour, of course. The 31-year-old's sole La Liga triumph came whilst Jose Mourinho was at the helm and amidst some of Messi's best form for Barcelona.
But with Ronaldo in his early thirties and Messi still in his prime, one would perhaps expect the media hype to die down somewhat.
The Portugal international, even despite outshining most of Europe with his goalscoring record, is evidently past his best - so shouldn’t the comparisons stop?
It's almost like a media tactic to provoke Real’s record goalscorer, simply because of his renowned arrogance and inclination to create headlines for himself.
Is it so hard to merely watch and admire Ronaldo's waning genius without continually drawing comparisons to another exceptional player? We have been truly spoilt as fans to watch two of football's greatest players simultaneously, but one man’s triumphs shouldn't trivialise another’s.
If criticism for Ronaldo is warranted, then so should be criticism for Robert Lewandowski, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Sergio Aguero and all other world-class strikers - but no.
It's time the media and football fans laid off Ronaldo and just enjoy him while he lasts. His best years may be behind him, but his quality at present is a testament to the unbelievable talent he has always been.