Lionel Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo: When Luka Modric Settled the GOAT Debate With Diplomatic Answer

Lionel Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo: When Luka Modric Settled the GOAT Debate With Diplomatic Answer

Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe
June 10, 2024 at 7:56 AM
In this article:
Luka Modrić logo
L. Modrić
Real Madrid logoMCroatia logo
Lionel Messi logo
Inter Miami CF logoFArgentina logo
Cristiano Ronaldo logo
C. Ronaldo
Al Nassr FC logoFPortugal logo
Real Madrid logo
Real Madrid
Argentina logo
Croatia logo
Portugal logo
  • Luka Modric once weighed in on the never-ending greatest of all-time discussion between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo
  • Having played alongside Ronaldo for years and competed against Messi on several occasions, Modric is best placed to give a candid opinion
  • The midfield maestro is preparing to guide Croatia to Euro 2024 after helping Real Madrid win an unprecedented 15th Champions League

PAY ATTENTION: Checkout Fixtures; Live Scores; Results and Tables section on Sports Brief and never miss out on the action ⚽️

The discussion on who the greatest footballer of all time (GOAT) is between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo does not appear to be disappearing out of sight anytime soon.

While this question often stirs strong emotions and leads to polarised opinions, the argument seems to be leaning increasingly towards Messi, especially after the empyrean Argentine "completed football" by winning the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Luka Modric, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, greatest of all-time, debate, discussion, GOAT, Croatia, 2022 World Cup.
Luka Modric once settled the GOAT debate between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi with a courteous response. Photos by Gualter Fatia and Justin Casterline.
Source: Getty Images

Before claiming the ultimate prize, the pair were nearly impossible to separate, given their nearly two-decade dominance in the sport.

From 2008 to 2018, Messi and Ronaldo monopolised the Ballon d'Or, each winning the prestigious award multiple times, per talkSPORT.

Their unparalleled contributions in terms of goals, influence, and trophies left football experts in a perpetual dilemma about who the true GOAT was.

However, as time has passed, the consensus appears to be shifting, with many, including some of Ronaldo's own teammates, now bestowing the GOAT title upon Leo Messi.

Modric settles Messi vs Ronaldo debate

One such individual is Luka Modric, the player who ended Messi and Ronaldo's surreal reign over the Ballon d'Or by leading Croatia to the World Cup final in 2018.

The Croatian midfield maestro, who played alongside Ronaldo at Real Madrid, acknowledged Messi as the football GOAT after the Argentine icon's pivotal role in leading his team to victory in the 2022 World Cup.

Modric, now 38 and often compared to Messi in style, predicted that the Barcelona legend would drive Argentina to the championship and praised him diplomatically as the greatest of all time.

"I hope he [Messi] will win this World Cup, he is the best player in history and he deserves it," the Madrid midfielder said, as quoted by Givemesport.
"He is playing a great World Cup, he shows quality and greatness in every game."

8 superstars who rank Messi ahead of Ronaldo

Often, the views of former and current footballers on the two superstars are swayed by their loyalty, stemming from their time as club or national team teammates.

Yet, intriguingly, several of Ronaldo's ex-teammates firmly regard Messi as the better footballer, as reported by Sports Brief.

Notable players who place Messi above CR7 include Luka Modric, Wayne Rooney, and Angel Di Maria.

Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe photo
Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe
Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe is a Ligue 1, Bundesliga, and La Liga editor with five-year experience. He previously worked with Sports Corna and 360SportsGH.