The G.O.A.T is an internet slang term standing for the Greatest of All Time. Delegating the title to an athlete of a sport is almost impossible because the title should only be given to one person and is not a title that should be controversially decided, but rather unanimously so. Regardless of what sport you watch, there exists a set of players or athletes in that sport that no one can decide the better of, despite decades of inconclusive debates. After all, the title of the GOAT is subjective and varies greatly due to opinions, biases, culture, age, and many other personal factors.
The sport of soccer or fútbol is not exclusive to that situation. Twenty years ago, the world found two young players Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in the spotlight constantly, in which the relationship quickly evolved into a rivalry both media and fans have always been uncertain about. Having won almost every major club trophy and individual trophy, and playing against each other in Spain for a decade, they both chased the World Cup title for 20 straight years with four prior chances (most notably Messi’s heartbreaker at Rio de Janeiro in 2014). To the two players, the World Cup title was something they would trade their individual achievements for. To win the title meant a perfect fairy tale finish for their respective careers.
However, on December 18th, Messi and his national team Argentina faced off against France in one of the most exciting and dramatic World Cup Final finishes ever seen before. Despite a late hat-trick from France’s Kylian Mbappé that tied the game to 3 collective goals from Messi and Di Maria, Argentina ultimately prevailed after a tense penalty shootout, giving Messi the last achievement missing in his expansive trophy room.
Despite there existing two individual careers, with similar achievements and record-breaking stats, each with their own individual teams, situations, differences, strengths, and accomplishments, and both having chased the most prestigious team title in soccer, the World Cup, one player has finally obtained it. Does this finally decide the G.O.A.T. debate?
That may be something the world will never agree on… yet with the two player’s careers ticking out, it is something you can now decide for yourself.
Image Source: Thomas Jarrand on Unsplash