Football fans try to settle Ronaldo vs Messi debate in new vote during World Cup

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One of the major themes of this World Cup has been the mixed fortunes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Both players may only be two games deep into the tournament, but their form on football's biggest stage has been nothing alike.

Ronaldo already boasts four goals and Portugal look set for qualification from the groups whereas Messi is yet to score, has already missed a penalty and could miss out on the round of 16.

As a result, it should come as little surprise that the age old question of which player is the greatest of all time has once again emerged. 

What makes the debate so interesting at the moment is the role of the World Cup and how much weight performances at the tournament should carry in the argument for 'GOAT' status.

The debate for GOAT status

Of course, neither player has won the competition, but should their general performances be taken into account?

All food for though, yet many would answer that question with 'yes' as calls for Ronaldo's superiority increase with his superior performances this summer.

And while football fans will be given a much clearer picture when the group stage concludes, supporters have still been voting on the matter.


Football fans vote on Messi vs Ronaldo

The Mirror opened a poll to football fans this week to vote on the greatest player in history and the interactive has been open before, during and after Argentina's 3-0 defeat to Croatia.

Although the order of the remaining legends are interesting, too, it's all about that Ronaldo vs Messi debate and the results are very interesting.

Take a look at the current standings:

1. Lionel Messi - 513 votes
2. Cristiano Ronaldo - 359 votes
3. Diego Maradona - 278 votes
4. Ronaldo - 269 votes
5. Pele - 248 votes
6. Zinedine Zidane - 247 votes
7. Ronaldinho - 223 votes
8. Johan Cruyff - 200 votes
9. George Best - 55 votes
10. Alfredo Di Stefano - 43 votes

So there you have it, the wider footballing community - in a neutral country of England - still considers Messi to be the greatest of all time.

There was also the opportunity for supporters to 'down vote' different players but that did not affect the order of Messi and Ronaldo at the top.

No matter what happens at the World Cup and no matter if it changes your own opinion or not, the debate will continue to rumble on regardless.

Germany v Argentina: 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final

There's a strong argument that the World Cup should be considered the defining stage, but it's questionable that the 2018 tournament should carry weight alone.

Ronaldo, after all, would need to match the achievement of Messi in 2014 even if it did end in heartbreak.

Ultimately, though, the pair have achieved so much outside of international football that it would be shallow to let the World Cup - in spite of its prestige - rule over everything else.

Who do you think is the greatest player of all time? Have your say in the comments section below.

Croatia Football
Portugal Football
Argentina Football
England Football
Zinedine Zidane
Real Madrid
Lionel Messi
World Cup
Cristiano Ronaldo

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