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Are there any players capable of matching the level of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo?

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Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo: two players who have revolutionised the game of football; two players who push the boundaries of what we deem as normal performances season after season; two players who defined an era.

As the two main pioneers of the modern game, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have dominated Ballon D’or proceedings in recent years, claiming 7 between them since 2008. Football fans, critics, pundits and managers have, and will continue, to debate which of the two superstars is better, but one thing is certain: we are incredibly fortunate to have these two extraordinary players playing in the same generation.

Gone are the days when scoring a hat-trick was the highlight of one’s season; gone are the days when winning a Ballon D’or was the crowning moment of a player’s career; gone are the days when scoring 50+ goals a season was an achievement one would remember for the rest of their lives. Not for these two.

For them, scoring a hat-trick has become almost expected of them, a weekly target set by themselves. The Ballon D’or has become some sort of two-horsed race, with the award being essential in either player viewing their season as a success. Scoring 50+ goals a season, is no longer a rarity, but a regular occurrence. It would be no under-statement to say that Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are on an entirely different level to any other player on earth, and whilst the “Messi vs Ronaldo” debate will continue to split opinion in the footballing world, it is surely more sensible to sit back and appreciate just what these two outstanding athletes are achieving. We really are in a golden era of football!

However, all good things do eventually come to an end. At some point, Messi and Ronaldo will bow out of football, and the legacy they will leave will remain undiminished in the history books. So, whilst appreciating the performance levels of the two, we must also look to the future and see who, if anyone, will fill the void left by the pair of them.

Here at The Sports Lowdown, we take a look at 5 possible players who could replace Messi and Ronaldo, and analyse whether any of them have what it takes to match their ability.

Bale Ballon D'or Gotze Hazard Messi Neymar Pogba Ronaldo

About Dan Culyer

I am a 17 year-old sport fanatic - particularly when it comes to football, formula one, tennis and swimming/ water polo! I am a part-time sports journalist, as well as a fully qualified football referee! I particularly enjoy doing in-depth opinion pieces, with detailed analysis of players, teams and tournaments!

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