380,000 football fans vote on the greatest of all time: Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have dominated headlines in the Champions League this week.

Ronaldo set the bar high on Tuesday with a stunning hat-trick against Atletico Madrid to fire Juventus through to the quarter-finals.

Juve lost the first leg 2-0 but turned the tie around thanks to their star man, who showed exactly why they signed him last summer for €100m with two headers and a penalty.

Messi then responded by scoring a brace during Barcelona’s 5-1 win over Lyon on Wednesday to also secure a place in the next round.

The Argentine broke the deadlock in the 18th minute with a lovely Panenka penalty before tying Lyon’s defenders in knots for his second goal.

Philippe Coutinho, Gerard Pique and Ousmane Dembele grabbed the other goals at the Camp Nou, with Messi also grabbing two assists.

Messi and Ronaldo’s virtuoso performances have inevitably seen the age-old debate of ‘who is the greatest footballer of all time?’ re-emerge.

In truth it’s hard to separate them. Messi is more technically gifted, but it’s hard to look past Ronaldo when it comes to making the difference in the biggest games.

Following Ronaldo’s hat-trick, Gary Lineker tweeted a 24-hour poll asking football fans to vote for who they think is the greatest. Incredibly, over 380,000 people voted.

And the results are as follows:

Lionel Messi – 62%

Cristiano Ronaldo – 38%

So there you have it, more football fans think Messi is the greatest footballer of all time than Ronaldo.

And given the amount of people that participated, it’s safe to assume that verdict wouldn’t change regardless of how many voted.

But let’s be sensible for a second. As a generation we’re blessed to have been able to watch two of the greatest footballers of all time fighting for top spot year in, year out.

It’s been an incredible rivalry, so whether you prefer Messi or Ronaldo, maybe we should just appreciate them both. They’re not going to be around forever.

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