It’s a question that has been asked incessantly for more than 10 years.
There isn’t a right answer. Just opinions.
Some will say Messi is better and his seven Ballons d’Or prove that.
Some will say Ronaldo is better because of his achievements everywhere he’s gone.
One thing that makes the rivalry even more captivating is the difference between the two players.
QUIZ: The ultimate Messi vs Ronaldo quiz
Messi is a small diminutive player, renowned for his dribbling, passing and finishing ability.
Ronaldo is an athlete with an incredible physical presence, capable of scoring any type of goal.
Footballers past and present have done their best to sum up the difference between the pair and Robert Lewandowski was the latest to settle the debate.
But rather than saying which player he believed was better, he highlighted how one has worked harder than the other.
“I respect Cristiano Ronaldo’s hard work,” he told Sport Bild.
“For Messi, everything looks easy.
“I think Cristiano had to work harder for his success.”
We’re not quite sure who Lewandowski is siding with but he’s absolutely spot on.
Messi is naturally an incredible footballer and was always destined for greatness. As for Ronaldo, he’s had to work extremely hard to get to where he is and continues to do so despite being 36-years-old.
Lewandowski is more than qualified to have his opinion too.
The Polish striker finished second to Messi in this year’s Ballon d’Or after being denied the win last year due to the cancellation of the award.
After picking up the accolade, Messi said: “I would like to mention Robert Lewandowski, it’s been a real honour to compete with you.
“Everyone knows and we agree that you were the winner last year.
“I think France Football should award you your 2020 Ballon d’Or – you deserve it and you should have it at home.”
Lewandowski has now replied.
“Messi’s words towards me [about the Ballon d’Or] really touched me,” Lewandowski told Bild. “They weren’t empty words, it was a nice moment in my career.
“I only spoke a few words with Leo [one-on-one], because my Spanish is not that good. I spoke with Kylian [Mbappe] in English, he then translated for Leo. It was a great night.”
On what it would take to win the Ballon d’Or in the future, Lewandowski added: “It’s about little details, everything has to be in place. What I can guarantee is that I’ll continue doing my job and bring my best performances.”