Messi and Ronaldo have both left their respective heart clubs, Barca and Real. And today at 35 and 37, the two legends of modern football have been eliminated from the Champions League at the stage of the round of 16.
Does this mark the end for these two football giants? We are starting to fear it little by little… But there is an end to everything, even if we still miss our football legends.
1. Ronaldo, the end of the Portuguese king?
We’re going to get a little wet and say that Ronaldo is at the end…
37 years old, an elimination from the Champions League in the round of 16 and everyone more or less agrees that he hasn’t done much since his arrival at Manchester United. Now the Portuguese is almost guaranteed to end the season without any trophies, which has not happened for 16 years, a big disappointment for him. Ronaldo didn’t take a shot on goal once last Tuesday against favorite rivals Atletico, and it happened only twice in his European career, in 2011 and 2003, enough to suggest that the CR7 legend is a bit near the end…
2. Same fate for Messi who is also aging
As you know, Messi was booed at the PSG-Bordeaux match by Parisian fans after his disappointing performance throughout the Champions League (and even since his arrival at PSG).
But as for Ronaldo, we must admit that Messi is surely at the end of his career, at 34 years old already, his best years of football are behind him. Since his arrival at PSG, his stats have resembled those of his career debut in 2003… not decisive in matches, only one goal on the counter mid-season at PSG, in short not great for a player of his stature.
3. Zidane after the 2006 headbutt
The end of Zidane’s career was done in a rather brutal way (it is the case to say it) and on an emblematic gesture.
Materazzi, the Italian moth, and Zidane were among his players who hated each other. In the 2006 World Cup final against Italy, Materazzi managed to get Zidane out of his hinges, and the French legend simply headbutted him: the last action of his career. In short, at 34 Zidane therefore put an end to his career, to become an incredible coach a few years later.
4. The tumultuous end of Ronaldo’s career (the real one, R9)
The legend of Ronaldo, “il fenomeno” finished in fishtail. The injury he suffered in 2000 in the first leg of the Italian Cup final between Inter Milan and Lazio Rome put a first brake on his career (even if he managed to win the World Cup in 2002 , what a boss). It was the first match for Ronaldo who had already stopped 5 months ago due to an old injury. Finally this injury that Ronaldo suffers in the middle of the dribble is even worse. He totally tore his patella tendon, which greatly complicated the pursuit of his career.
Between that and his chronic overweight, Ronaldo ended up throwing in the towel, after a last defeat with his club Corinthians, he ended his career and retired from the world of sport.
5. Ronaldinho also had a funny end
Samuel Eto’o said of Ronaldinho: “Ronaldinho was the best player in the world and maybe the best player ever, because he was incredibly good, but a player who doesn’t train every day, he pays for it at one time or another. »
Here you have the topo, Ronaldinho was a legend, but also a guy who liked to party too much. His career therefore ended with a short stint in a Paraguayan prison. From the moment we saw him in a nightclub at 5 a.m. just before a Champions League semi-final against Manchester United while playing for Barça, Ronaldinho had confirmed his reputation and would become a pet peeve for the coaches.
After Ronaldinho had already won everything so he could afford it.
6. Maradona ends his career because he tested positive for cocaine several times
El Pibe de Oro had a little fondness for white powder and that was unfortunately the main reason why he had to end his career. Tested positive for cocaine in 1991, he was suspended for 15 months. After that he tested positive for ephedrine just before the World Cup in the United States in 1994.
After all these scandals, Maradona ended his career in 1997, after a football career marked by excess.
7. Johan Cruyff, between tax problems and a complicated return to the Netherlands
It was in 1978 that at 31 the legend Cruyff finally decided to end his career. It must be said that the Dutchman had gone through many stages.
First he was prosecuted by the Spanish tax authorities and therefore left for the United States, then he returned to Europe, played in the Spanish second division and finally returned to the Netherlands. And in 1981, to everyone’s surprise, he decided to resume his career in his favorite club: Ajax Amsterdam, which after only one season did not renew his contract. Finally, as he was very upset by this decision of the club, he signed with Ajax’s main rival, Feyenoord Rotterdam, with whom he performed well. Cruyff therefore ends his career as he began it: by scoring in his last football match, as he had scored in his first.
8. Cassano, destined for a great destiny but who is finally nicknamed “El Gordito”
One of the most technical players of his era was unfortunately also one of the laziest. Cassano had said one day in a press conference “if I had done what was necessary for 15 years, I could have become like Messi”, well we will never know, but Cassano himself admits to having been a little spoiled.
Called “El Gordito” (the little fat one) when he played in Spain, because Cassano missed training and gained weight, he ended his career after only 39 selections and 4 trophies, in Verona when he was not has not even participated in a duel match of the season.
What a pity for such a promising player…
9. Francesco Totti, end of career after 25 years with the same club
There (for once) it is a beautiful story. Francesco Totti put in his career after 25 years at AS Roma, being the player who played the most games in Serie A with Roma. In 2014, he also became the oldest goalscorer in the history of the Champions League at the age of 38, in a match between Roma and CSKA Moscow.
Francesco Totti has always said that he would then like to evolve in the direction or the staff of the club, and that is what he did. Finally a good ending.
10. Balotelli, not necessarily at the end of his career, but 10 clubs at 30 does not smell good
And we end with Balotelli because even if the player has not officially ended his career, he had such a tumultuous journey that it is difficult to believe in a renewal.
At 30, Super Mario has already gone through 10 clubs (that’s a lot) and has created a real reputation as a dodgy guy. Remember when he wore his “why always me?” t-shirt. “, that meant everything, Balotelli considered that it was not him the problem. He ended up at Monza in Series B, not a big deal for a player of his potential, and today he is playing quietly in the Turkish Süper Lig. To see for the rest, but we feel the end is coming for Balotelli.