Error message

  • Notice: Undefined index: nid in views_handler_field_term_node_tid->pre_render() (line 98 of /var/www/html/docroot/sites/all/modules/views/modules/taxonomy/
  • Notice: Undefined index: nid in views_handler_field_term_node_tid->pre_render() (line 98 of /var/www/html/docroot/sites/all/modules/views/modules/taxonomy/


What Does The Future Hold For Messi And Ronaldo?

It’s time to face facts: the two best players in the world, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, are getting older.

Entering the 2015/2016 La Liga Season, which kicked off this weekend, Cristiano Ronaldo is 30. He will be 31 by February. The baby-faced flea, Messi, is now 28.

Both men have grown up, from young guns to team captains and leaders.

Now, just what does the future hold for the two best players alive?

These two men, who have spent their whole careers being compared to each other, could have very divergent paths in the years to come.

Say what you will about Lionel Messi and his lack of success with Argentina, the man does perform for his country. At this summer’s Copa America tournament, Lionel sat tied at the top of the assists chart with Chilean playmaker Jorge Valdivia. Messi flourished in his role as the playmaker for his country, resulting in a combined seven goals for Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain and Angel Di Maria.

Messi’s link-up play behind the main striker and/or on the wing creates space and opportunities for his strikers for both club and country.

When Neymar arrived at the Camp Nou in May of 2013 many questioned why the Blaugrana would spend money on an attacker who in many ways plays the same style as Barcelona talisman Messi.

Further questions were raised when Luis Suarez was added to the mix just a year after Neymar’s arrival. How could Barcelona’s manager Luis Enrique accommodate three high-scoring and high-flying players in one starting eleven? The answer was MSN — the record-breaking counterattack of Lionel Messi, Neymar, and Luis Suarez.

These three would set a single-season record for most goals scored domestically in Spain, with 120 combined.

The secret to their success? Messi’s unselfishness. Messi more often than not last season played on the right of Barcelona’s attack, allowing Luis Suarez to play centrally. Messi moved out of his preferred central striking role in order for the trio to get the best out of one another up front.

This means that, if necessary, Lionel Messi is more than willing to play the role of the playmaker for the good of his team. And that usually equals goals.

A problem with being one of the two best teams on the planet is trying to figure out where to fit everyone. Luis Enrique figured it out at Barca and now Rafa Benitez will have to figure it out at Real Madrid. Real Madrid have four extremely creative, goal-scoring players in Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and James Rodriguez.

Early rumors have Benitez keen to play Ronaldo up front in the number nine role. Leaving Bale free to run wild on his favored left side of the attack. Is this really what the future holds for Ronaldo? Will he become like Brazilian Ronaldo, strictly an in the box poacher?

He is getting older, and, as a result, will start getting slower, so a move up front on the inside could benefit his more senior legs.

Also, Ronaldo, unlike Messi, isn’t particularly known for his playmaking. He does most often what he does best - score goals. Some would call that selfish, others would say he’s just that damn good. Whatever his reasoning a move up front does make sense for the deadly Portuguese.

The Future

What does the future hold on a career scale for these two men? Will either win a major international trophy with their country? Will both retire in Spain?

For Messi, who has come up from Barcelona’s academy staying in Spain seems most likely, he is a God at Barcelona; although, he has always expressed a desire to return to Argentina and his boyhood club Newell’s Old Boys. For Ronaldo the glitz and glamour of MLS destinations like New York City or Los Angeles seems too bright to ignore. Madison Avenue and the ever-marketable Ronaldo could be a match made in money heaven: Picture Ronaldo’s underwear billboards plastered all over Times Square.

Whatever the future does hold for the two best players of this time there is no doubt football as a sport owes both men a huge debt of gratitude for keeping the sport relevant to billions around the world and making football beautiful to watch.

La Liga is back. Ole.      

Videos you might like