It’s going to be a blockbuster, but it’s impossible
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
These two have become household names. It doesn’t matter if you’re a football fanatic or someone who rarely follows the game, Ronaldo and Messi are arguably the first two names that come to mind when you mention football.
Imagine the best of the best playing alongside each other in the same team. It goes without saying, the team would be boosted greatly in terms of quality and confidence, both on and off the pitch.
Obviously, we’re talking about the two guys who have dominated world football like no other earlier. Having a combined 9 Ballons d’Ors awards between them, seeing a squad with both of them lining up next to each other is a distant dream. There’s a higher chance of me making the Barcelona/Real Madrid line-up next week.
Let us try judging 3 cases of the two playing in the same team at different positions, their roles in the squad and what will work out best for them.
Messi and Ronaldo as two strikers:
This makes for a very deadly combination. It will rain goals of all types
The Argentine will be the smaller striker, making quick runs in and around the final third, spotting the runs and setting up or squaring the ball to the larger, stronger striker which is Ronaldo.
The Real Madrid forward will destroy opponents with his height and strength. He will score with both his feet and his head, thereby tormenting defenders to hell and back.
Now that the Portuguese forward has been making his transition into an out-and-out striker, adapting to a team where he will be paired with another can be a little tough given his, dare I say it, selfishness in front of goal.
Messi as a false-9 (CF) and Ronaldo as a striker:
Get ready for absolute domination.
Be it a third-tier English team or European juggernauts and heavyweights, they will all be destroyed and brushed aside like dust settled on window panes.
I don’t need to explain why playing footballers in positions they prefer will bring out the best in them.
Given the atomic flea’s extraordinary vision, dribbling and amazing passing skills, he can supply Ronaldo with the perfect opportunities in front of goal and combined with his deadly finishing, scoring 5 goals every match won’t come as a surprise.
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Undisputedly, free-kicks come under Lionel Messi’s management.
The diminutive Barca forward has time and again proved his abilities in dead ball situations. Goalkeepers and defenders tremble whenever Messi steps up to take a free kick in a dangerous area, often anointed the “Messi area”, which is just around a couple feet outside the opponent box.
Messi has scored 11 goals from free kicks in the previous two seasons (16/17 and 15/16) compared to Ronaldo’s 6 in the same time period.
Choosing one of out of these two for the penalty duties would’ve been a tough choice if you had asked me a few years ago.
Leo Messi has missed many-a-penalty in recent times, even in times of dire need like in the Copa America final against ex-teammate and friend Claudio Bravo.
Ronaldo has missed too, but it hasn’t happened as frequently as the Argentine.
In the last two seasons (16/17 and 15/16), Messi has had a go at 18 penalties of which he has missed 5 (conversion rate 0.72)*, whereas Ronaldo tried his luck at 20 penalties, missing 5 (conversion rate 0.75).
Of course, it’s going to be awesome. But it’s impossible.
Having two stars like this on the same team won’t pan out well in any direction for a club, be it financially or morally.
Buying them will cost a huge amount of money and it may deplete a club’s financial resources. Even if they do manage to grab their signature, a lot of money will be shelled out as wages and this will be unsustainable.
Extra Read: Cristiano Ronaldo Is Expected To Break Lionel Messi’s Record Of Scoring International Goals
The authority that they will exude will reduce the importance and the status of other players of the team and the limelight will be stuck on Messi and Ronaldo only, which will prove to be detrimental to the club. Other players and members will feel unsettled and unsatisfied.