When we stop to think about it for a second, we can’t believe how lucky we are to be alive at this exact moment in time. A time when both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are at the peaks of their careers, playing in the same league, and for a pair of teams that are historical bitter rivals. For soccer fans around the world, this is literally as good as it’s ever going to get.
Both players are all-time greats already, and by the time they eventually retire from the game, it’s a fair assumption that the argument of “greatest player ever” will no longer be between Maradona or Pele (or even Cruyff). Only two names will remain in the conversation — Messi or Ronaldo?
The debate will probably never be settled for good, because that’s how these things work when it comes to sports. But regardless of which player you prefer, they each hold a dizzying number of records already — records they will only add to in the next 5-to-10 years. For the sake of fairness, we’ll start with a Messi record, and then alternate until we get through them all.
Messi – Led Champions League Scoring Four Years in a Row
From 2008 to 2012, Lionel Messi absolutely dominated the Champions League, Europe’s top club competition. In every single one of those years, Messi lead the competition in scoring, potting 9, 8, 12, and 14 goals, respectively. In two of those four seasons, Barcelona would lift the Champions League trophy as the greatest team on the planet. Ronaldo has also led the Champions League in scoring four times, but not consecutively. In 2014-15, both Messi and Ronaldo tied at the top of the Champions League leaderboard with 10 goals apiece, along with Messi’s Barca teammate Neymar.