Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have defined their respective careers, heritage, and world football for over a decade.
They have managed to match each other, raising heights not previously set, yet they embody different philosophies.
There’s Messi – shorter, more introverted, and a natural-born football genius, who shares his creativity with the team, assisting as much as he scores. Then there’s Ronaldo – the taller, a physical model who works his way through defenses, vaccinations and training until he’s better than everyone else on the field.
But for all their trophies, neither of them has ever won a World Cup. The Qatar 2022 competition could be their last chance to determine if one of them can finally win the biggest trophy of all time.
Watch how players match up, going back to their professional beginnings.
Ronaldo makes his professional debut 17 years old, He plays for the Portuguese club Sporting Club de Portugal.
Portugal wins its first international match 18, He comes on as a substitute against Kazakhstan.
in 17 years old, Messi makes first 778 matches with Barcelona. At the time, he was the youngest to represent the club in an official match.
Makes Argentina debut, at 18 years old, as a substitute in a friendly match against Hungary, but was sent off after just two minutes.
The net is the first of seven World Cup goals, scored in four tournaments, to become – He is 21 years old – the youngest Portuguese player To score in the World Cup.
Become Youngest player To represent Argentina in the World Cup and the results within 13 minutes, He became the sixth youngest scorer in the history of the tournament.
Goals are arguably his greatest and he’s outrunning many of Getafe’s defenders. One of 672 hits for Barcelona.
Barcelona inspires Manchester United to beat Ronaldo in his Champions League final The second of four titles. He finished the tournament as its top scorer.
He joins Real Madrid from Manchester United and sets a world record at the time $130 million expenses.
After inspiring Barcelona to win three historic titles in one season, 22 years He becomes the first Argentine to win the Ballon d’Or.
He won the inaugural Puskas Award for his electrified counterpart 40 yard target – I cut the ball at an average speed 64 mph – for Manchester United vs Porto.
Argentina out 2010 World Cup by Germany in the quarter-finals. Messi has been named to the Team of the Tournament, but he is plagued by accusations of caring more about the club than the country.
Time magazine named Messi after One of the most influential people in the world for the first two consecutive years.
in 24, He broke Barcelona’s record and set a record 91 goals in the same calendar year.
Time magazine names Ronaldo among 100 most influential people of the year.
Argentina loses to Germany in the World Cup final. Messi wins a tournament record four Man of the Match awards in one World Cup and accepts the Golden Ball award for player of the tournament with Seven goals.
Named after the soccer star, the CR7 Galaxy came at the end of a season in which he enjoyed the most prolific campaign of his career, scoring 61 times in 54 matches.
Becomes Real’s top scorer throughout the ages with 324 goals. He finished his Real Madrid career with 450 goals in just 438 matches.
A goal in the quarter-finals of the Copa América Centenario establishes him as Argentina’s all-time top scorer. After Argentina lost in the final, he announced his international retirement, a decision he retracted shortly thereafter after pleas from the Argentine president.
He won his first major international title at the European Championships in France, but conceived in tears soon after 25 minutes from the final.
At first he was sentenced to b 21 months In prison for tax fraud, but escapes $2.3 million fine instead. Messi was convicted – along with his father Jorge Messi – of defrauding Spain $4.6 million Between 2007 and 2009.
He scored a hat-trick against Bayern Munich, becoming the first player to score 100 UEFA Champions League goals.
his scores Goal No. 100 in the UEFA Champions League, Reach this feat in fewer matches than Ronaldo. Only he and Ronaldo have scored at least 100 goals in the competition so far.
first player To win the European Champions League five times. He won his debut with Manchester United in 2008 before winning the competition with Real Madrid in 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2018.
At Russia 2018, it becomes first man to register it eight Consecutive major international tournaments.
at the age of 33Ronaldo signs with the Italian team Juventus in a report $117 million transfer deal.
Accused of rape by Kathryn Mayorga, who claims she was paid $375,000 to sign a non-disclosure agreement; The case was later dismissed. He denies these allegations.
Messi kicked out Minute 37 Third-place finisher in the Copa América play-off. He refuses to accept his third-place medal and receives a three-month ban from international football as well as A.J $50,000 Fine.
He returns to Manchester United and finishes the first season with the name The club’s top scorer. The relationship with the team falls apart after an explosive interview in November 2022.
signs on a Two years A deal for the French team, Paris Saint-Germain, to end its long-term association with Barcelona, with the Catalan club suffering financially.
He breaks the international scoring record with two goals against Ireland, bringing his tally to 117 goals in 191 international matches and solidify his status as the all-time great.
The first person to arrive 400 million Instagram followers.
Record victories 164 Argentina Cup and results ninety international goal, moving him to No. 3 on the men’s all-time international scoring chart.
Aim to win b First World Cup after four failed attempts. If he scores, he will become the first man to score in the World Cup five times. He needs three more goals to beat Eusebio and become Portugal’s all-time leading scorer in the tournament.
Aim to win b First World Cup after four failed attempts. If he takes to the field in Qatar, he will enter the elite company where only three other players have participated in five World Cups.