While some dream of playing with either one of these players, there are those players who have featured alongside both.
Over the last 15 years, the footballing world has been blessed with two of the best footballers to have ever graced a pitch. Year on year, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have proven just why they have eleven Ballon d’Ors between them. The Portuguese and the Argentinian have often been part of some truly spectacular sides. However, only a select few players have had the pleasure of playing alongside both the greats across their careers.
Here, we take look at the top five players to have played with both Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
5. Gerard Pique – (Manchester United / FC Barcelona)
Gerard Pique has established himself as one of the top centre-halves of the last decade, becoming an indispensable part of several successful Barcelona sides. The Catalan defender started his career alongside Leo Messi in La Masia, before he signed his first professional contract with Manchester United in 2004. It was around that time that Alex Ferguson would make Cristiano Ronaldo his new number seven at Old Trafford. Pique, however, would fail to establish himself as a first-teamer at United and eventually returned to the Camp Nou.
4. Angel Di Maria – (Real Madrid / Argentina)
The Paris Saint Germain winger, Angel Di Maria moved to Real Madrid from Benfica, becoming a roaring success at the Santiago Bernabeu in a side that boasted the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Iker Casillas in their prime. However, the addition of James Rodriguez to the Madrid squad in 2014, saw Angel Di Maria shown the door, despite being named man of the match in the Champions League final just a couple of months before the exit.
Di Maria’s international team was no less star-studded, with the likes of Sergio Aguero and most notably Lionel Messi, powering the side to a runner’s up medal in the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
3. Paulo Dybala – (Juventus / Argentina)
The Robin to Cristiano Ronaldo’s Batman at Juventus, Paulo Dybala continues to mesmerize the Serie A with his performances alongside Ronaldo, forming one of the most lethal attacks in world football. The Argentinian forward has long been seen as the heir to Lionel Messi’s throne in the Argentinian national side, with the six-time Ballon D’Or winner reaching the latter stages of his career.
Dybala will count himself extremely lucky, having had the opportunity to learn from two icons of the sporting world, especially so early on in his career.
2. Carlos Tevez – (Manchester United / Argentina)
While Tevez was never technically a permanent Manchester United player, he did spend two seasons on loan at Old Trafford, winning the Premier League and the Champions League in the process. The striker formed one of the deadliest attacks of all time alongside Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney and Dimitar Berbatov during his time at United. However, his stint at United ended on a sour note as he joined cross city rivals Manchester City in the most controversial of circumstances.
Tevez also played alongside Lionel Messi in the Argentinian national side, for several years before his retirement from international football.
1. Deco – (Portugal / FCBarcelona)
One of the most uncredited influences in the early careers of both Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi is the Portuguese icon, Deco. The forward was heavily involved in the Barcelona side that saw a 17-year-old Lionel Messi breaking through. The youngster had it all to do to break into an attack that boasted the likes of Ronaldinho alongside Deco.
Deco was an influential player at Portugal when Ronaldo made his international debut, mentoring the youngster as he was on his way to becoming the icon that he is today.