This Week Reminded Us To Just Sit Back And Appreciate The Messi/Ronaldo Era While We Can

They have dominated world football for years. 10 Ballon d’Or’s, 10 Champions League’s and 12 La Liga title’s, to name just a few.

They have won everything there is to win in the game, consistently smashing record after record, season after season.

But after more than a decade at the top, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi will likely hang up their boots for good in the not so distant future – a sad truth for those who have followed their journey from day one.

Image: PA
Image: PA

In Tuesday’s round of fixtures, we witnessed greatness step up. Again. Barcelona’s main man scored his 700th career goal against Atletico Madrid with a cheeky Panenka penalty against one of the world’s best goalkeepers in Jan Oblak.

The 33-year-old couldn’t help his side to all three points in Tuesday’s La Liga clash but his brilliance gave the world another reason to stand up and applaud, especially when he flicked the ball over Renan Lodi.

Another moment of genius from one of the greatest of all time.

Meanwhile over in Italy, his great rival Cristiano Ronaldo was scoring his 728th career goal with a screamer from distance. The 35-year-old, who has scored 24 goals in 25 games in Serie A this season, is showing no signs of slowing down.

This thunderous effort from range against Genoa helped his Juventus side extent their lead in the league to four points – another potential trophy in the jam-packed cabinet of Ronaldo.

Another moment of genius from one of the greatest of all time.

Despite their dominance at the top, both Ronaldo and Messi have shown signs of slowing down in the past 12 months.

Messi missed the club’s opening four games of the season because of a foot injury sustained while playing for Argentina in this summer’s Copa America.

And he admitted at the start of the season that he is a long way from his best, admitting to being “tired” and “sluggish” after returning from his summer break. “I didn’t have that spark. I was lacking a bit of rhythm.” he said via ESPN.

Ronaldo, meanwhile, was absent from a number of games at the start of the season after damaging his adductor, and missed the annual FIFA best awards ceremony after nursing the minor injury.

“Cristiano has a little fatigue to the adductors. I don’t want to take any risk.” Juventus manager Maurizio Sarri said ahead of the tie.

For his incredibly high standards, Ronaldo made a relatively slow start to his second season in Italy, scoring against Napoli and Hellas Verona in his first five games played.

But he certainly made up for it in the following months.

These small injury setbacks for both men do make you stop and think what football will be like without these footballing greats.

Let’s just appreciate this era while we can.