They’ll always be compared to one another, and they will forever be argued about - but the one thing that we can confirm, is that they provided and continue to provide us with great entertainment.
Lionel Messi v Cristiano Ronaldo
These two stars have perhaps got a rivalry that we have never seen before - largely because they’ve been classed as footballers with talent from another planet, and because they represent rival teams, Real Madrid and Barcelona. Messi and Ronaldo will always be compared to one another, even though they’re two completely different players, but both score a ridiculous amount of goals every season. They’ll shake hands before the start of the game, but it seems as though that’s as far as their relationship goes.
Frank Lampard v Steven Gerrard
Even though they were teammates for England, Premier League fans around the world have always put these two midfielders in the same category. Why? Because they’re both considered legends in England, both play in midfield, both the wear number eight and they both play for massive teams. Although their talents are unique, Lampard edges this one as he’s got a few Premier League medals, while Gerrard has none. With all that being said, they are great friends away from football.
Roy Keane v Patrick Vieira
Who could forget the hate that these two had for each other? If they weren’t fighting in the tunnel before a match, they were standing, staring straight ahead avoiding any interaction with one another -, because the game they were about to play meant that much to them. Keane was captain of Fergie’s Manchester United, while Vieira captained Wenger’s Arsenal – which made the affair much more interesting.
Alessandro Del Piero v Francesco Totti
They were teammates for their national side, but they each played for two of Italy’s giants - Del Piero at Juve and Totti at Roma, where he still is a key figure. This is the perfect example of the fans starting this rivalry, maybe because they’re both number 10s and each of them captain/captained their respective side. Years after retirement, these Italians will remain greats of the game, as they both hold record for most goals and appearances for their teams.
Pele v Diego Maradona
Funnily enough, they hardly crossed paths in their playing careers, as Maradona burst onto the scene at 16, while Pele was retiring at 37-years-old. Maybe a big factor here is that they represented rival nations, in Brazil and Argentina, but the debate as to who was better will always go on. When you think of the world’s best footballers, these two will naturally come to mind first.
Can you name any other great player rivalries? Let us know in the comments section below.