HomeFootballLa Liga President Settles the Lionel Messi-Cristiano Ronaldo Debate, Stressing Their Limited...

La Liga President Settles the Lionel Messi-Cristiano Ronaldo Debate, Stressing Their Limited Impact Outside the Spanish League


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2021, was a big blow for La Liga. 8-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi left Barcelona for PSG. His nemesis Cristiano Ronaldo departed three years earlier and along with him plummeted La Liga ratings. Javier Tebas, president of the Spanish League, knows quite well the drawing power of the soccer legends. While neither is ‘indispensable‘ to him, whom does Tebas rate as the ‘best’? In his new presser, the president gives his verdict on the famed GOAT debate.

According to the Spaniard, replacing players of the quality of Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi is difficult. He explained, “We are talking about Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, perhaps the first and second-best players in history. I would put Messi first.” Why did he choose Messi over the Real Madrid icon? The answer lies in their stints outside La Liga.

Tebas stated, “Cristiano Ronaldo went to Italy and Italian soccer rights have not gone up at all. On the contrary, they have gone down.” The president added that this was not the case when Messi joined PSG. Also, the Spaniard paid tribute to the phenomenal careers of the soccer duo. Tebas added that the pair have been playing at the highest level and were fortunate with injuries. He said that we will never see anything like the duo again. However, Tebas claimed that even after the departure of the icons, La Liga continued to rise.


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It seems that Tebas’ choosing Messi over Cristiano Ronaldo is influenced by the popularity of the respective leagues since their arrival. But, how did CR7 and LM10 perform on a sporting level since their La Liga exits? Let’s dive in.

Cristiano Ronaldo holds the edge as far as numbers are concerned

The Portuguese superstar left Madrid for Turin in 2018. The Portuguese superstar played 3 full seasons and racked up 101 goals in 134 matches. Not a mean feat considering he did not have the luxury of playing with superstars like at Madrid. Moreover, the soccer icon is 14th in Juventus’ all-time scoring charts. He returned to Old Trafford in 21/22 and netted 24 times and made it into the TOTY as well. Cristiano Ronaldo then left for Al Nassr in 2023 and plundered 56 goals in 60 matches! He also picked up 2 Serie A titles in the process.


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Messi’s PSG stint was less than spectacular by all means. The playmaker played 75 games and managed just 3 goals! A huge step down by his godly standards. It is worth noting that the Argentine maestro was playing with elite players like Neymar and Mbappe. La Pulga left for Inter Miami last year and has 23 goals in 26 matches. While Tebas feels Messi has been more successful outside Spain, the numbers tell a different story.

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