With 11 Ballon d’Ors between them, Paris Saint-Germain’s Lionel Messi and Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo have set record after record every year for the past decade, each one is believed to be Greatest Of All Times (GOAT).
With 11 Ballons d’Or between them, the duo have set record after record every year for the past decade.
Their playing careers are starting to wind down now, with the pair both in their thirties.
But that doesn’t mean to say their rivalry isn’t as strong as it once was or that they’re suddenly incapable of taking centre stage at any given moment.
On Tuesday, Messi netted a brace as Paris Saint-Germain beat RB Leipzig 3-2 in the Champions League.
In doing so, Messi equalled Ronaldo’s record for goals scored against different clubs in the European competition (38)
With the Argentine breathing down his neck, Ronaldo knew he had to put in a performance against Atalanta on Wednesday night in Manchester United’s group game with the Italians.
Ronaldo had never scored against the Serie A club in the Champions League before, but that all changed as the striker reclaimed his record in typically empathic style.
He has now netted against 39 different teams in Europe, as first reported by the Manchester Evening News, one more than Messi.
Atalanta stormed into a two-goal lead against the Red Devils at Old Trafford on Wednesday, with United bottom of their group going in at half-time.
But Ole Gunnar Solskjaer rallied his troops and they came out for the second half refreshed.
Marcus Rashford reduced the deficit before Harry Maguire found the target to draw the scores level.
Ronaldo then seized his moment to shine, latching onto a whipped Luke Shaw cross and heading home.
Solskjaer said of Ronaldo, after the result: “If anyone wants to criticise him for his work rate or attitude, just watch this game, watch how he runs around – he’s great in front of goal.
“I was really pleased with how he led the line. We asked him to run the channels and press more. We were at home and we wanted to get the crowd behind us.
“He did everything a centre-forward should do, leading the line and defending. The goal is just what he does better than most.”