The Influence of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo on Young Athletes

Since the creation of The Fédération Internationale de Football Association, also known as FIFA in 1904, soccer has been the most watched and the most practicing sports in the world. In recent years before the technology, TV’s live soccer streaming, and the internet, sports fans were not as eager to watch and enjoy the soccer games as they are today. These days’ people are more accustomed to sportsmanship in every sport they watch or play. Soccer matches are spectated by millions of people around the world.

Not just the old-fashioned World-Cups games where the participating countries have their own team players, but also the premier clubs and counties where the players represent and plays for a specific club that they are assigned to.

Likewise, the most intensive club game in the soccer is called El Classico, a match between two Spanish clubs, Real Madrid and Barcelona. Real Madrid a team known for its counter attack, the most expensive club in the world, many ex soccer legends retire from this club.

Barcelona is known for its players’ possessive gameplay, like Real Madrid, it also has a history of soccer legends. El Classico has been is given its name because of the intensity and eagerness of fans spectating players’ performance and rivalry on each side on the field, TVs channels broadcasts debates on performance for each individual in these teams.

The most important players in these teams are, Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid, a Portuguese world-class soccer star; and Lionel Messi of Barcelona an Argentinian professional soccer star.

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There are millions of fans debating on who from one these two players are better and in what ways possible. Typically, if a fan loves Ronaldo, he/she will hate Messi. Similarly, if a fan loves Messi, he/she will eventually hate Ronaldo. However, evidently showing one is better than is other is not simple. Both have nearly the same ratio of statistics in the gameplay. Yet it can be decided that who is better than the other off the field. Considering these two players for comparison is very important because many people around the whole world are depending on them.

Fans tend to follow Messi and Ronaldo footsteps. They can become a role model and be imitated by many of their fans. Both of these players are highly paid and very well respected by their teammates, FIFA, and fans. Media is conversing on how these two players are off the field, and what makes them not only good players, but also respectable human beings. People should stop criticizing these two players and respect both of them, hating human beings has only caused violence around the globe. Analyzing their game statistics and reviews, financial statistics, fan count and how cultural influential impacts on people.

One of the major conflict debated between fans is whether the statistics of each player have tiny little difference to prove that their loveable Ronaldo or Messi is the best. Many of these matters are pointed out in different types of gameplay, including dribbling, skill level, technique, heading ability, free-kicks, team assist, and goals. According to Ben Smith, “The simultaneous presence of two players as dazzlingly prolific as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo is unique in the history of their sport” (Smith).

This demonstrates how both of these spectacularly amazing players have changed the history of soccer, bringing in more and more competitions to let the spectators enjoy Messi’s and Ronaldo’s game. Smith cites from Gudjohnsen a former Chelsea and Barcelona player, “They are very different footballers and very different characters… It is incredible the standard that they are setting. They have taken the game to a different level, reaching standards that very few of us have seen anyone reach”. (Smith). Because these two soccer players are different from one another in every way, whether it be the body type, height, size, though their gameplay contains extraordinary values that both have a unique style of gameplay. Ronaldo’s quick with his feet, fast at sprinting and powerful at shooting, takes impossible shots, free kick scorer, and also the heading ability to score.

On the other hand, Messi is fast with maneuvering himself and the ball across the defenders creating chances for his teammates to score. Smith quotes from Gudjohnsen, “The statistics speak for themselves….. Ronaldo had scored 138 times in 136 appearances for Real Madrid. In that period, Barcelona’s maestro delivered 161 goals in 159 games” (Smith).

Comparing the appearances of their games has a very close ratio of how many goals they have scored. Smith then refers Gudjohnsen to describe how overall gameplay and statistics conclude Smith’s stance “It is so hard to say one is better than the other but Messi narrowly has the edge. I have never seen anything like him. We’d be lucky to be watching one of them. To be entertained by both is a blessing” (Smith). It is thoughtful how Gudjhonsen in conclusion choose Messi to be a little better. Hence, these details explain how each player is at his best when it comes to his gameplay.

Conversely, Smith’s stance one might argue that Smit’s quoting Gudjhonsen’s viewpoint could not be valid because he has been a former teammate with Messi, and that could be the reason of him stating Messi better than Ronaldo.

While the debate rages on about who is the better player statistically, can we tell who is better paid? According to Chistina Settimi, “Cristiano Ronaldo ranks No. 1 on our list of the world’s highest-paid soccer players. The 30-year-old star of Real Madrid, the most valuable soccer team in the world worth $3.26 billion, banked $79 million last year in salary, bonus and endorsements – a sum that also makes him the highest-paid team athlete in the world” (Settimi). Ronaldo’s salary figures shows that he makes so much more than people of the same group.

Ronaldo’s Facebook fan count is at the top in soccer with 102 million followers (Iyengar). Settimi correspondingly quotes“[Ronaldo] the Portuguese winger impresses in his long-term sponsor Nike’s boots on the pitch, and his signature CR7 line of underwear, shirts and shoes off it” (Settimi). Ronaldo earns money from his own brand name, and some the sponsored brands like Nike. Although, Lionel Messi has incredible soccer records and is paid just a few millions less than Ronaldo. Settimi quotes “Lionel Messi, a record four-time winner of FIFA’s player of the year award, earned $70.5 million last year to come in second on our list.

The benefit of an ongoing rivalry with Ronaldo paid off well for him” (Settimi). In other words, Settimi argues that Messi’s well-paid salary is also because of his rivalry to Ronaldo. Ronaldo’s fans not only like his gameplay, but also enjoy his attitude towards them. In addition, Messi cannot be underestimated when it comes to his follower, not only is known as the best player for Barcelona, but also he is the captain for his own national team. Therefore, Cristiano Ronald’s financial statistics and fan count are better than Lionel Messi is. This does not mean that Ronaldo is better than Messi overall.

While Ronaldo is the most paid soccer player, his contribution to humanity is incredible. Journalist Rishi Iyengar reports “And the superstar [Cristiano Ronaldo] did so yet again recently, donating nearly $8 million to help global charity Save the Children carry out their earthquake relief efforts in Nepal” (Iyengar). This describes how Ronald’s actions off the field are so sincere when it comes to giving what he has been given. Another supporting claim that Settimi cites is “[Ronaldo] the Portuguese winger impresses in his long-term sponsor Nike’s boots on the pitch, and his signature CR7 line of underwear, shirts and shoes off it. Both helped contribute to the $27 million he earned in endorsements” (Settimi).

Evidently, Ronaldo’s charity work is rather impressive. Ronaldo owns his name brand underwear, sponsors for Nike and contributes the money to people who are really in need. Iyengar states, “Ronaldo is known for his philanthropic endeavors, having donated millions to children in Gaza as well as tsunami relief efforts in Indonesia. He has also paid individual children’s medical bills on multiple occasions” (Iyengar). This elaborate that it is not only once that Ronaldo has done charity, nonetheless in many different occasions, it also shows how supportive this player is as a human being. The cultural influence on the people regarding Ronaldo’s actions off the field is positive.

On the contrary, love for Messi is still alive in many people’s heart. Iyengar cites a young five-year-old boy Afghan boy Murtaza Ahmadi saying, “I love Messi and football” (Iyengar). Afghanistan, a country in warzone where people cannot live in peace, Ahmadi’s words explain how culturally influence he is at such a young age and passionate about soccer and his star Messi. The young and innocent boy’s message gone viral on the internet. Iyengar also acknowledges “Barcelona star Lionel Messi is hoping to arrange a meeting with an Afghan boy who shot to fame after pictures of him dressed in a striped plastic bag jersey went viral” (Iyengar). This describes how young innocent young children are passionate their role models, when they are seen inspired by personalities like Lionel Messi.

Others might argue that Ronald has enormous amount of money and can probably contributes to maintain his fame, which is why he contributes in the charitable events.  It is time we accept and appreciate not only that gameplay of both of these players, but also what they have done for the world. How they have inspired their fans. Who knows, someday the young Ahmadi might be the next Messi, or a Nepali soccer player might become the next Ronaldo. Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are the role models for this generation, each player should be valued for what positives aspects they have done, for their efforts and sacrifices will not only be the best for the future generation but the present followers who are admiring them today.

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The Influence of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo on Young Athletes. (2023, Feb 19). Retrieved from

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