Football fans should be grateful to have witnessed such fierce competition, which can only be compared to the historic duels of other disciplines such as Anatoly Karpov – Gary Kasparov in chess, Ayrton Senna – Alain Prost in Formula 1 or Roger Federer – Rafael Nadal in tennis.
It is important to stress from the beginning that the success of one is not understood without the success of the other.
I think we should stop focusing on finding them a worthy successor (the most recent ones to sound: Kylian Mbappé and Erling Haaland) and take advantage of the last brushstrokes of both.
I am unable to call them the best players in history, as I did not have the opportunity to witness the performances of others like Maradona or Pele. Even so, I dare to predict that they have been the most constant over time, since they have given us nearly 15 years at the highest level.
One exemplifies the definition of innate talent, who despite having suffered complications in his early days, had always guaranteed a place among the best. The other represents better than anyone else that with sacrifice and dedication it is possible to reach the top, with his ego as the best ally to overcome and even break down the barriers he has found along the way.
At this point, it becomes necessary to ask who is better or less human. Although the Portuguese is a tremendously admirable force of nature, I consider La Pulga to be one or perhaps two steps above. Leaving aside the colours, it is possible that my decision is biased by the skills that each one embodies, power and delicacy respectively.
Being a player of lesser presence, the Argentinean symbolizes a more complete player, capable of dominating all the variants of the offensive game of his team and executing them in an excellent way (shot with both legs, head shot, free kicks, dribbling and assist). Over the seasons he has played his role in the team to perfection, which is evident in his delayed position once his conditions have deteriorated. It is worth mentioning that his physical intelligence has allowed him to carry out implausible actions in milliseconds, which no other player can imagine.
Along with this set of skills, his humility and respect off the pitch make me think that the number 10 has won this game.