Goat vs Goat: Best football battle of all time – Maradona vs Pele; Messi vs Ronaldo; Mbappe vs Haaland

Rivalries have always been a part of the ‘Beautiful game’ and that is the essence of sport. The rivalry lasts on the field of play and as soon as the final whistle is blown, the culmination ends with handshakes and fist pumps because it is always about Respect.

We have seen generations of champion players during their respective era’s and what made them great was their respect for the opposition, level of skill and the panache with which they did their job and inspired people.

Comparisons will always be a part of sport when players dazzle during their time. To determine the GOAT, we look at the players who were undoubtedly the greatest of their time and we will also have a sneak peek into the future superstars.


ImageEasily two of the best players who have ever graced the football pitch, an inspiration to generations; Pele and Maradona were the biggest players of their time and if Social Media was abuzz then, wow that would have been something.

Edson Arantes Do Nascimento aka Pele. A Brazilian enigma he was. The three-time World cup winner scored 77 goals for his country. He made his debut for the national side in the 1958 World cup at the tender age of 17 and marvelled everyone by scoring in the semi-finals and finals to lift the trophy.

Pele played his club football for Santos FC for 18 years and New York Cosmos for 2 years. He scored a total of 650 goals in 694 appearances across both clubs. Such was his performance, power and excellence which left everyone stunned.

He racked up 1283 goals in 1363 matches, making him the top scorer in Brazilian and FIFA history. To add to this, he pulled off 92 hat tricks in his career. He won the World Cup in 1958, 1962 and 1970. Pele was undoubtedly named the FIFA Player of the Century also. The Individual as well as team honours won by Pele are too many to list down but his greatness lies in the respect he commanded and also had for his teammates and the footballing fraternity.

Shortly after Pele left the arena, entered Diego Maradona from Argentina. His vision, passing, ball control and skill level allowed him to manoeuvre better than most players as he set the footballing stage on fire.

He was instrumental in Argentina lifting the 1986 World Cup which includes the infamous Hand of God and an exquisite, brilliant goal against England in the quarter finals of that World Cup.

Maradona scored 259 club goals during his professional career coupled with 34 goals for country. He later went on to coach the Argentina National side in 2008 and shared the FIFA Player of the Century award with Pele. Such was his impact on the game.


ImageLionel Messi made his debut for the only club he has played for till date, Barcelona in 2004 at the age of 17 and has since scored 500+ goals for them. He has been conferred with the Ballon d’or 6 times. Lionel Messi has won 4 Champions League and 10 La Liga titles. He has many individual honours too such as FIFA World Player of the Year, FIFA World Cup Golden Ball and many more. A thorough champion and probably the next big giant of football from Argentina after his inspiration, Diego Maradona. Messi also holds the record of most goals for Argentina with 71 goals to his name.

Cristiano Ronaldo, the Portuguese sensation made his debut for Sporting CP at the age of 17 before moving to Manchester United in 2003 where he scored 84 goals for the club and won three premier league titles and one Champions League title, he also had many other honours to his name. He was Sir Alex Ferguson’s find and till date maintains a strong relationship with this maestro. Cristiano Ronaldo shifted to Real Madrid in 2009 and during his time with the Los Blancos became their leading goal scorer in La Liga with 311 goals to his name and won the UEFA Champions League 4 times before joining Juventus. CR7 has netted 134 Champions League goals. He became the top goal scorer in football history with 760 goals surpassing Josef Bican’s 759. Ronaldo has also scored 102 goals for Portugal and has won the Ballon d’or 5 times.

Ronaldo and Messi are still active players and with each passing day keep themselves fit in order to keep inspiring generations to come.


ImageThe Frenchman and Norwegian are touted to be the next big superstars of the game. Kylian Mbappe has won the 2018 FIFA World cup for France, being the second youngest after Pele to do so and will look to consolidate his position amongst the elite as he continues his career. He played for Monaco in the Ligue 1 before shifting to Paris St Germain.

Dortmund’s Haaland is also touted to be the future superstar of the game and will look to live up to that name as he keeps playing.


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