Please Share This:
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are surely two of the best players in history and the best in recent years. Fans have enjoyed their goals, assists, dribbles, and everything they bring to the field of play. However, indeed, their time is already getting over and their retirement is nearer than ever.
Lionel Messi has more tendency to retire before Cristiano Ronaldo because of some factors which we are already seeing while they play. Messi is already 33 years and Ronaldo is 35 but it is fair to say age is telling more on Messi than Ronaldo.
Messi’s play is dependent on a lot of factors while Ronaldo doesn’t require much of a context to score 30 or 40 goals a season. For Messi to operate better, the tactics of the team have to be set in such a way that it benefits the Argentine.
He may be seen as a right-winger on paper but we all know he spends less than 45% of his time on the pitch playing there. This destructs the formation and tactics of the team as the coach now has to improvise solutions to accommodate him by having his teammates leave their positions to cover the space vacated by Messi.
Ronaldo, on the other hand, hunts for the goal and stays closer to the opposition box. With his incredible position, he gets at the end of a cross or passes into the box. This makes it easier for the coach because Ronaldo would not invade the zone of others as much as Messi. This allows the coach freedom to apply his tactics without needing to improvise almost every time.
I’m sure some of us are already asking how this means Messi would be retiring before Ronaldo. Messi’s play involves a lot more activity because a complete Messi performance means he has to dribble, create plays, assist, and score. Ronaldo, on the other hand, can have an excellent game without having to dribble much or create much. He just has to score 2 or 3 goals. This has nothing to do with undermining Ronaldo of course.
It’s harder for Messi to just stay in the box and score the goals because he likes to be involved in almost everything and this could tell in the long run considering his age. His style of play and the demand it comes with may force Messi to retire sooner than we would have liked. Perhaps we are already seeing the signs because he loses more balls than usual and the quality in his shots is reducing, unfortunately.