An epic showdown in the Champions League semifinal will pit the world's two greatest players against one another over an enticing two-game stretch. Much is at stake, the winning team will earn the right to represent Spain in the Champions League Final and the player on the winning team can also earn bragging rights and sway soccer enthusiasts opinions as to who the best player in the world today is.
This past Saturday April 16 saw Barcelona and Real Madrid play to a 1-1 draw in an "El Classico" showdown where, not surprisingly the goalscorers just so happened to be Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.A penalty apeice saw the two share the spoils and further build up the anticipation for the first leg of an all Spanish semifinal scheduled to be played on April 27.
The two players are regarded as the best of this generation and have attracted comparisons from the media, fans and analysts for the past couple of years. Both players have won the Champions League title, Messi with Barcelona and Ronaldo with Manchester United. Both have also deservedly won the Fifa World Player of the Year award (Messi has won it the past two consecutive years) And both are on pace for an unprecedented 50 goal seasons with Messi currently as of this writing just scored his 50th for the capaign and Ronaldo at 41.
These two players have already achieved so much in their still young careers, and by the looks of it, they show no signs of letting up either, but rather improving and getting better. Soccer has seen many stars from generation to generation, names like Pele, Maradona, Cruyff, Platini and Zidane have often been regarded as the best players of their respective generation. Currently though, there has never been such tight competition and valid arguments for the best player on the planet like there is now, with Messi and Ronaldo. And at this pace, these two players will not only go down as the greatest players of this generation, but also,quite possibly as the best two players to have ever graced the professional soccer fields.
It's fascinating that in this day in age, with the elevated level of competition and athletic ability that has improved drastically since the time of the other great players mentioned; these two players still stand head and shoulder over everyone else. Over the past couple of seasons, they have averaged close to a goal a game; and previously unheard of feat.
The answer to who is the best player in the world however, can only be designated to one player. Lets take a closer look at these two phenomenon's to determine the answer to that question.