The UEFA Champions League is back and it goes without saying that in the first round of matches the standout was the 3-2 thriller over in Anfield, which saw Liverpool vs PSG go down to the wire and Roberto Firmino score the late dramatic winner. What followed was a scene worthy of several double takes.
During the pandemonium of euphoric LFC fans celebrating the win in the Kop, the camera switched to catch Jürgen Klopp celebrating. Nothing odd there, but a quick glance at what was occurring in the background of the benched players deserved a rewind. And yes indeed, my eyes did not deceive me. What I saw was the subbed Mo Salah angrily throwing his water bottle onto the floor! Naturally, it didn’t take long for the clip to go viral and rightfully so.
This happened in the same week where in an interview with Spanish sports newspaper AS, Antoine Griezmann preposterously claimed he now sits at the same table as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. An assertion knocked off the dining table by Sergio Ramos, when he said the Frenchman would do good to look at the likes of Andres Iniesta, Xavi Hernandez, Iker Casillas and Raul who all have closets filled with collective accolades but no Balon d’Or to show for it.
To my surprise I was fully on the same page as Ramos. Despite being aware we’re living in an age of instant gratification and entitlement, I was both surprised and annoyed by Griez putting himself on the level of Leo and Cris so soon after one successful season. As well as watching Mo get upset for what I can only assume was his team-mate scoring the winning goal instead of him, given his facial expression and body language.
Both these guys need to take their heads out of their…place where the sun doesn’t shine and realize that both Messi and Ronaldo have been doing this for over a decade. They’ve both BEEN doing it! Their battle for dominance is so unique that it’s an encounter that the footballing world has never experienced before.
Despite holding Leo Messi up to a standard I’ve never held any athlete apart from Michael Jordan, I’m far less bothered when having discussions with friends who are of the opinion that Ronaldo does deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as Messi.
The reason for that is because from an efficiency perspective it’s clear that the Portuguese superstar has been the only one who has managed to keep up with the Argentine GOAT. His production to win ratio has been undeniably significant and admirable, nourishing the continued clash between the two players and allowing the forever heated and passionate debate to linger for as long as they’ll play.
However, all the extra talk of other players pulling up chairs to join these two active legends at their table is just noise until time and continued success shows us a different trend is taking place.