Messi is the greatest player of the modern era and could one day be considered alongside Pele and Maradona as one of the greatest players of all time. Messi's story is well documented; playing for Argentina, most recently leading them to the World Cup Final 2014 and leading the line at Barcelona FC. Messi played through Barcelona's academy from age 12 until making his debut in 2004 at 17.
Since making his debut, Messi has broken record after record. He has won the World Player of the Year award a record four times in a row. At 24, he became Barcelona FC's all time leading scorer, at 27 he became the leading goal scorer of La Liga and the UEFA Champions League all in the same week. He became the first player to score five goals in a Champions League match. He set the record for most goals scored in a European season at 73. He set the record for scoring in 21 consecutive matches. He also holds the record for most goals in a year at 91, breaking Gerd Muller's record of 85 that had been held for 40 years at 25.
Messi has won six La Liga titles, two Copas del Rey, three UEFA Champions Leagues, and two Club World Cups. He won the 2005 U-20 World Cup, he won the Gold Medal with Argentina at the Olympics in 2008. He won the player of the tournament award at the 2014 FIFA World Cup for leading them to the final.
"I have seen the player who will inherit my place in Argentinian football and his name is Messi." - Diego Maradona
Cristiano Ronaldo is a Portuguese Forward who began at Sporting CP and has played for Manchester United and currently for Real Madrid. Known for his incredible scoring and immense power, and the consistent comparison to Lionel Messi as the greatest player of the modern era. He is Portugal's highest goal scorer and holds the record for most goals scores in a UEFA Champions League tournament at 17 goals.
He has won the World Player of the Year twice, in 2008 and 2013. He has won three Premier League titles, one La Liga title, one FA Cup, two Champions League and one Club World Cup.