Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo's era is coming to an end - so let's appreciate their greatness

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Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have dominated European football for over a decade now.

Between them they’ve won 10 Ballon d’Or awards, 10 Champions Leagues and 12 La Liga titles.

They’ve also won a host of other team and individual major honours during their illustrious careers and will forever be remembered as two of the sport’s all-time greats.

However, no debate sparks more arguments than Messi v Ronaldo.

Since the mid-2000s, football fans from all over the world have fiercely argued their that favourite is the best, while downplaying the achievements of the other.

Messi fans will say that Ronaldo lacks the same technical ability as the Argentina international and, unlike their hero, is selfish, egotistical and insecure about his talent.

Ronaldo’s fans, on the other hand, argue their idol is the more complete footballer, works harder, is a bigger game player and has the edge over Messi because he’s been success in multiple leagues and on the international stage.

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It’s a shame that Ronaldo’s hardcore fans are unable to appreciate Messi’s greatness and vice-versa.

And they all need to quickly realise that it won’t be long before both players are retired.

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A tweet about the two football legends went viral on Twitter earlier this week and it’s absolutely spot on.

“Cristiano Ronaldo is missing more games than he ever has done in his career. Lionel Messi is picking up more injuries than he ever has done in his career,” @utdarena tweeted. “Ladies and gentlemen, it is slowly coming to an end. Stop the bickering, stop the debates. Just enjoy these final years…”

Well said.

Ronaldo turns 35 in February and may only have another four or five years left maximum.

The Portuguese forward keeps himself in incredible condition and is keen to play on for as long as possible, but he is now in the autumn of his career and rapidly approaching the winter.

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Messi, meanwhile, has hardly played for Barcelona during the opening weeks of the current season as he struggles with injury.

The 32-year-old also has the ability to prolong his career well into his late 30s but football is unpredictable - you never know what’s around the corner.

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It’s not beyond the realms of possibility that both Messi and Ronaldo will begin to decline significantly over the next couple of seasons.

So it’s all the more important to cherish the moments when they’re on the pitch and shining bright.

They’ve both given us all so much joy over the past 10-15 years, let’s appreciate them before it’s no longer possible to do so.

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