Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are regarded as the greatest players of all time, and the debate on who is the best player between them has been on for a very long time. Here we carefully look at their major individual awards.
Before now, the two most important individual awards in football are the Ballon d’Or, which started in 1956, and the FIFA World Player of the Year award, which started in 1991, and ended in 2009 after the world football governing body decided to merge with the Ballon d’Or. Afterwards, FIFA “The Best” was introduced.
Before the two awards merged, Ronaldo and Messi each won both, and after they merged to award the best players between 2010 and 2016, these 2 dominated the award.
After the awards were merged and became FIFA Ballon d’Or, Messi won four, while Ronaldo won two. Then, the awards were separated in 2016, then Cristiano won two Ballon d’Or, and two FIFA The Best awards, while Barcelona and Argentina's captain won the FIFA The Best award and the Golden Ball in 2019.
Below is the breakdown of their awards and the year they won them.
Lionel Messi – 8
Ballon d'Or (2009, 2019) – 2
FIFA player of the year (2009) – 1
FIFA Ballon d'Or (2010, 2011, 2012, 2015) – 4
FIFA The Best (2019) – 1
Cristiano Ronaldo – 8
Ballon d'Or (2008, 2016, 2017) – 3
FIFA player of the year (2008) – 1
FIFA Ballon d'Or (2013, 2014) – 2
FIFA The Best (2016, 2017) – 2
Who is your G.O.A.T between Ronaldo and Messi?