- Cristiano Ronaldo has equalled the number of Ballon d’Or titles won by Messi
- Ronaldo posed with the 15 individual awards he has won on New Year’s Day
- Lionel Messi enjoyed a low key New Year’s Eve with his wife
The world’s greatest footballers Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi celebrated the new year in contrasting styles.
Ronaldo, fresh from equalling Messi’s tally of five Ballon d’Ors, posed in his Madeira homeland with the 15 individual trophies he has won throughout his stellar career.
Messi, considered by most to be the more modest of the two, smiled for a snap with his wife Antonella Roccuzzo, who is expecting their third child.
Messi is still the best player on the planet, according to his Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde.
Messi has scored 22 times in the 29 appearances he has made for club and country this season.
The 30-year-old’s latest goal came in the 3-0 victory against Ronaldo’s Real Madrid at Santiago Bernabeu before Christmas.
‘Messi is the best player in the entire world,’ Valverde told Barca TV.
‘He does something extraordinary with every ball he touches. We have the incredible good fortune to have him at our club.’
The 53-year-old manager also praised Messi for staying loyal to Barcelona.
He added: ‘I can see how he faces competition and his enormous commitment to the club and the team. In terms of his position, playing in the middle is good both for him and for us. However, he can play well anywhere.’
Ronaldo who recently equalled Messi’s Ballon d’Or also crowned himself “the best player in history” after receiving his record-equalling fifth Ballon d’Dor on Thursday 7th of December 2017 in Paris.
Ronaldo’s efforts in the Champions League earned him the award, as he scored 19 goals in 13 games in the competition across the entirety of 2017.