Argument Over. Ronaldo Is Better Than Messi. Here's Proof.
In sport, like life, timing is everything.
And Cristiano Ronaldo's sense of timing is impeccable. Always has been.
How many times has the 34-year-old Portuguese football deity scored a crucial goal when his team really, really needed it?
It happened again overnight, when Ronaldo's hat-trick steered Juventus to a 3-2 aggregate win over Atletico Madrid in the Champions League, thus erasing a 2-0 first leg deficit, and propelling Juve into the quarters.
This made Ronaldo so excited, he went like this.
Which was pretty funny, considering Atletico manager Diego Simeone had performed a very similar gesture after the first leg.
Simeone should have known better. Firstly, it was in bad taste, and secondly, a two-goal buffer was never going to be enough. Just ask Ronaldo, who actually predicted he'd score a hat-trick in this game.
So here we are. Having transferred to Juventus from Real Madrid in the off-season -- where Ronaldo won a record-breaking five Champions League titles -- he's now in a prime position to give the Italian giants the overdue European silverware they crave.
One of the seven teams standing in Juve and Ronaldo's way is Barcelona, whose superstar Lionel Messi is Ronaldo's chief rival for the unofficial title of player-of-the-generation, if not the greatest ever.
They're very different players, of course. Messi the all-rounder, Ronaldo the goal freak.
Messi's timing isn't terrible either. Who can forget his three goals for Argentina against Ecuador in a match they simply HAD to win to make the 2018 FIFA World Cup?
Indeed, Messi has done many of the most beautiful things ever seen on a football field. And speaking of hat-tricks, they're level-pegging now in the UCL.
But Ronaldo does it when it counts, again and again, for both club and country. He's won a major international tournament for Portugal too --- namely the UEFA Euro 2016 -- and he's dominated three European leagues too, whereas Messi has only played club football in Spain.
It's 23 years since Ronaldo's new club Juventus last won the Champions League. In that time, they've been so dominant, they've won 13 Serie A titles in Italy.
If they win the big dance this year, Ronaldo will have been the difference. And his legacy will be complete.