Messi vs Ronaldo – Money as a Measuring Stick for Greatness

Messi & Ronaldo Art

The best footballer in the world (Lionel Messi) should be also the one making more money than anyone else, right? Cristiano Ronaldo is the best paid soccer star thanks to his new deal, which as always provides another source for comparison between the two greatest of their generation.

A day after Ronaldo signed his the five-year deal that keeps him with the club until 2018 and will pay him an astonishing €21 million per season, making him the highest paid man in the business, rumors came out from various sources suggesting Lionel Messi wants to be paid just as much as Ronaldo, who also wanted to be paid more than anyone else in order to keep up a happy face.

Is it true? Probably not. Messi only recently signed a new deal which pays him nearly €16 million a season, keeping him away from those food stamps. But for footballers, athletes and in general famous people, it’s not about the money’s value as in what it can buy, but as the way people value you and appreciate your importance to the organization.

As long as the two players keep playing at this level and scoring at this pace, the comparisons won’t stop. The fact that they’re playing on the two sides of the most famous rivalry in the sport isn’t helping take away the attention from every little detail that sets them apart.

Ronaldo and Messi

Salary? Just another issue for the press to dive into in order to find the differences between two players who probably would love to hear a lot less about the so-called rivalry between them. It’s hard to believe Cristiano Ronaldo doesn’t feel even a bit of envy towards Messi after losing in most award ceremonies to him; in most title races to him; and in most Pichichi races. It’s impossible for the man who believes he is the best in the world (As he should be confident about the fact) not to feel a bit frustrated about being placed second almost every time.

But at least he’s getting paid more. That’s a matter of financial capabilities of their own clubs, so even if Messi is the best in the world, Barcelona might not be able to pay him like that. The release clause they put in his contract, which is around €250 million, which becomes a lot more once taxes become part of the deal. In short: Impossible to actually sign him.

Ronaldo was unhappy, and the reasons all seem to point to one thing: Money and respect. Florentino Perez dragged him along, while Ronaldo himself never made it clear about his intentions to re-join Manchester United at some point. The ‘unhappy’ comment went a long way, a lot longer than Ronaldo probably expected it too, but he did get the contract he wanted from it.

Real Madrid have the financial capabilities to pay Ronaldo so much; Barcelona do not have that luxury with Messi. It’s as simple as that. It doesn’t mean Ronaldo is more important to Real Madrid than Messi is to Barcelona. That’s something that’ll remain a point of comparison for the press, bloggers and forum debaters until one of them begins declining, which according to their ages should be Ronaldo.

Art by Panos13United & songiang