Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are two of the greatest players of their generation. Fans of either faction will always draw comparisons between the two and claim that their player is the Greatest Of All Time (GOAT).
On Tuesday night, Ronaldo single-handedly dragged Juventus into the quarterfinals of the Champions League. He pulled off the comeback from 0-2 down in the first leg to score a hat-trick and take the aggregate score to 3-2.
Ronaldo has netted 124 Champions League goals in in his entire career. Now that he is flying high, that number will definitely continue to rise as Juve progress. Messi, on the other hand, is eighteen goals behind his biggest rival.
The diminutive Argentine has buried six goals during the course of his champions League campaign. Leo Messi is two goals behind Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski and tied with Dusan Tadic and Moussa Marega of Porto. If/when he snags a couple of goals against Olympique Lyon, he will be in contention to win the Golden Boot. But then again, you cannot discount Cristiano Ronaldo.
In the first leg at Lyon Olympic Stadium, the Blaugrana were held to a 0-0 draw. But now, Lyon face Barca in the lion’s den. The 31-year old is still going strong as he and his Barca teammate prepare for the Lyon clash.
Interestingly, FC Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu is preparing for the eventuality where Messi may retire soon. He is focusing on the future on an institutional level and on a sporting level. But “within four or five years”, Messi could possibly stop being able to play at the top of his game.
Speaking to BBC, he said, “I know that some day Messi will stop playing, I expect that within four or five years, and I want to prepare the club for the future.”
The Barca chief says the way to prepare is “bringing young talents like Dembele, Coutinho and Frenkie de Jong” because “we want and we should maintain this line of excellence and success”.