12,000 km separates Riyadh from Miami but the GOAT debate continues.
Lionel Messi – Inter Miami CF, USA
After winning the World Cup and being unable to return to Barcelona, Lionel Messi decided to join Inter Miami CF in July of 2023. This was seen as a significant step forward for the development of Football or Soccer as they say in the USA. In just one month of joining the club, he led the team to a trophy, winning the Leagues Cup. Whilst the MLS season has only just resumed, and Messi has scored a goal. Undoubtedly there will be many more goals scored by Messi throughout the season and his future at the club looks promising. In just 9 appearances, Messi has scored 11 goals and has made 3 assists, an incredible start to his career in Miami. In these games, he was scoring a goal every 65 minutes of the games he has played on average, an incredible statistic.
Cristiano Ronaldo – Al-Nassr FC, Saudi Arabia
Cristiano Ronaldo, another icon of modern football, similarly left European football to play for Al-Nassr FC in Saudi Arabia. A rapidly developing arena of football, Saudi Arabia is attempting to compete with the top leagues of the world. Ronaldo’s transfer caused uproar among football fans and his contract turned everybody’s heads, earning a whopping €200 million per year. In just 28 appearances, Ronaldo has scored 23 goals, including an astonishing 3 hat tricks and 4 assists. Ronaldo has also won a trophy at Al-Nassr, the Arab Club Champions.
|0 hat tricks
|3 hat tricks
|65 mins per goal
|108 mins per goal
|51 mins per goal contribution
|92 mins per goal contribution
|£47.76 million per year
|£173 million per year
Who is the GOAT?
The ultimate question is, ‘Who is the GOAT?’. A question that has been constantly disputed among football fans across the world. Messi and Ronaldo are most often at the forefront of this debate. Based on Messi’s performances at Inter Miami and Ronaldo’s at Al-Nassr, it is clear that they have not lost touch with their footballing abilities. They both continue to succeed as world-class footballers and break the expectations of fans. The exit of these two footballing legends from European football marks a great change in the sport and provides both of them with a new platform and audience to showcase their abilities. Right now, it proves difficult to judge who is the GOAT from their performances at their new clubs. Messi has only just begun his first season at Inter Miami and Ronaldo is yet to complete his first year at the club. Whilst many fans have already picked their sides long ago, it will prove interesting to see who excels to a greater extent in their respective teams and leagues. Will it be Messi, or will it be Ronaldo?