In this video, the venerable Simon Kuper, a man who has been writing about European football from the time we were in school over 30 years ago, answers two of the most important questions of our time. Firstly, between Ronaldo and Messi, who is the greater player? Secondly, is one of these two the Greatest of All Time (GOAT)? You have to watch this video and see the charts through which Kuper makes his point but in case you are pressed for time, here is a summary:

  • The data is very clear – no other player in the history of football can match either Ronaldo or Messi in terms of goals, assists and trophies. These 2 players were ‘great’ for 20 years, something no other great has managed. Advances in sports science (shoes, training regime, diet) and a crackdown on violent fouls has given these two unprecedentedly long careers.
  • Between Ronald and Messi the data is also very clear – Messi is the better player. Why? (a) Messi has scored more non-penalty goals than Ronaldo. (b) Messi is a million miles ahead of Ronaldo on “assists”. (c) Messi has taken Argentina not just to World Cup glory but in his presence, Argentina has consistently challenged the top European teams in the World Cup, something that no other non-European team, including Brazil, has managed over the past decade. Had Ronaldo played in any other era, he would have been the greatest player of his time.
  • Joining the preceding bullets the conclusion is clear – Messi is the GOAT. Watch Kuper’s video if you want to see the mindblowing charts which underscore his superiority.

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