The debate over who is the best footballer in the world has seen Lionel Messi beat Cristiano Ronaldo in the last few years. Messi has won the FIFA Ballon d'Or twice while Ronaldo has never won it.
But while Messi might have outperformed Ronaldo at the club level things are a tad bit different at the international stage. CR7 has time and again challenged the opinions of Messi loyalists.
The latest instance of that was in Portugal's 2-1 win over Netherlands at Euro 2012. Ronaldo scored both goals for Portugal in emphatic style. He could have added to that tally, but was denied twice by the post. This was the first time Ronaldo found the back of the net at Euro 2012, making him the first Portuguese to score in 5 consecutive major international tournaments.
In contrast Lionel Messi's international record is not as impressive. Messi has only scored one goal in World Cups and two in the Copa America while Ronaldo has six goals in major tournaments. However, neither has managed to light up the international stage for their respective countries.
In Portugal's group game vs Denmark at the Euro's this time, the Danish fans were chanting Messi-Messi whenever the Portuguese skipper got the ball. Upset with the chants Ronaldo retorted by saying that at the same time last year Messi's Argentina were being knocked out of Copa America. The rivalry and the inevitable comparisons between the two will continue perhaps as long as they play. But for the moment Ronaldo is third on the list of bookmakers to win the player of the tournament award at Euro 2012.