A handful of names come to mind when we think of soccer greats. And the list will always be incomplete without Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. The duo ruled soccer for over a decade and are at the start of a new chapter in their careers. 

Ronaldo plies his trade in Saudi Arabia with Al Nassr while Messi prepares for his Inter Miami debut in the US in the coming days. The duo share an intense rivalry. Apart from their skills on the pitch, a series of numbers have defined their respective careers. But do you know about the magical ‘869’ coincidence?

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo’s 869 coincidence


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The illustrious careers of the Argentine and the Portuguese broke several records. Be it goals, assists, trophies, or individual success, the numbers always shocked the fans. But there’s one number that is not only associated with the duo but also with their sons. 

Cristiano Ronaldo was born on February 5, 1985, whereas Lionel Messi was born on June 24, 1987. 869 days separate the birthdays of both GOATs. But what’s the big deal? It’s precisely the same number that separates the birthdays of their eldest sons. Ronaldo’s eldest son, Cristiano Ronaldo Jr., was born on June 17, 2010. Meanwhile, Antonela Roccuzzo gave birth to Messi’s eldest son, Thiago, on November 2, 2012.


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Now that’s what we call a mind-blowing coincidence. But will the sons of the GOATs have the same fate as their dads? 

Cristiano Ronaldo Jr.:

Cristiano Jr. is following in the footsteps of his father in soccer. Nicknamed Cristianinho, Ronaldo’s son plays as a forward. He’s had the privilege of playing with some massive academies. He started first with the Real Madrid Academy, where his dad played a crucial part in his soccer journey. Later, Cristiano Jr. transferred to Juventus Academy, where he spent two years.

via Imago

He wore an iconic No.7 jersey for Manchester United’s U-12 youth side. Moreover, he often did famous ‘siuuu’ celebrations to emulate his dad at United. Currently, Cristiano Jr. is in Saudi Arabia after joining Mahd Academy in January.

Thiago Messi:


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Like Cristiano Jr., Thiago also played for the academies where his dad played soccer. Thiago started playing soccer at a young age. He appeared in FC Barcelona’s academy for a few years before shifting to PSG Academy in 2021. 

via Imago

Now with the seven-time Ballon d’Or moving to Miami after his decision to join Inter Miami, we can expect Thiago to join him. 


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WATCH THIS STORY: Cristiano Jr’s Insane Training Schedule

It will be intriguing to see whether the juniors have an illustrious career like their dads. Let us know your thoughts. 

Written by

Nikhil Nibe


One take at a time

Nikhil is a soccer writer at EssentiallySports, having written over 450 articles that showcase his expertise and love for the beautiful game. With a passion for soccer that spans over two decades, Nikhil is well-versed in covering core sports articles. As a die-hard fan of Real Madrid, Nikhil understands the importance of team spirit and the unwavering support of fans in changing the course of a game.
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Edited by

Stefan Thomas