It has been questioned and debated all over the world in the past decade. But there are two key questions to ask. Number one, are Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo the two greatest ever players? And second of all, who is the better between the two?

The best ever?

Let us address the first question. Whilst we used to debate as to whether Pele or Maradona were the best ever, there is a strong case that in fact it is ronaldo and Messi who are the greatest ever. Why? For a couple of key reasons. First of all look at the Ballon d'Or winners. Since 2008 the prestigious award has only gone to either Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo.

As reported in the Total Sportek website, whereas Messi has won the title five times, on four occasions it has gone to Ronaldo. Second of all, look at the goals that they have scored. For Real Madrid Ronaldo has scored an incredible 384 goals in 373 matches and has already passed 500 career goals, as reported in the Telegraph newspaper. Lionel Messi however, has also passed the 500 career goal mark, but this has been done at only one club. Year after year both players have far exceeded anything that we have ever seen before. If we look closely, goals scored in one season is remarkable. From 2010 until 2016, in each season Ronaldo managed to score at least fifty goals in all competitions. From 2010 until 2015 also Messi in each season scored at least fifty goals in all competitions.

Further on from this in the 2011/12 season Messi scored a staggering 73 goals and a year later sixty. What these statistics clearly show is that they are world's apart from anything that we have seen before.

Messi or Ronaldo?

Many have described the two as a beauty and the beast type. It is a difficult question because they are so different.

Messi likes to roam, to go past players and to score great goals, but Ronaldo is so strong in the air, is a phenomenal athlete and scores all types of goals. But often the litmus test is whether they would have the same effect on a cold Tuesday night at Stoke City (no offence intended). And between the two, I think Ronaldo would fare better.

I think the Madrid striker could play in any team in any league and drag them to victory. Although the same could be said of Messi, unlike Ronaldo, the Argentinian has had a steady amount of great players around him. As a result, I go for Ronaldo.

Irrespective of this, what must also be mentioned is that it has been a pure delight to watch these two over the years. The sad thing is, is that we may never see the likes of Messi or Ronaldo again.