The Ronaldo and Messi Era: Who Claims the Third Spot?

Ava King

Updated Wednesday, April 24, 2024 at 11:22 AM CDT

The Ronaldo and Messi Era: Who Claims the Third Spot?

The Contenders for the Third Best Player of the Ronaldo and Messi Era

The Ronaldo and Messi era, spanning from 2008 to 2019, has been dominated by these two football legends. However, the question of who claims the third spot in this era remains a subject of debate among football enthusiasts. Let's explore the contenders and their contributions.

Luka Modric: A Consistent Performer

When considering the entire era, Luka Modric emerges as a strong contender for the third best player. The Croatian midfielder's technical skills, vision, and ability to control the game have earned him numerous accolades, including the Ballon d'Or in 2018. Modric's consistent performances for both club and country make him a deserving candidate.

Other Contenders for Specific Periods

While Modric may be the overall front-runner, other players have also left their mark during specific periods of the Ronaldo and Messi era. From 2008 to 2012, Iniesta and Xavi played pivotal roles in Barcelona's success, showcasing exceptional passing and midfield control. In the period from 2013 to 2016, Suarez and Neymar's partnership with Messi at Barcelona was a force to be reckoned with. And from 2017 to 2020, Modric himself, along with Salah, made significant contributions to their respective teams.

The Influence of Manuel Neuer and Virgil Van Dijk

While outfield players often dominate discussions, it's important to recognize the impact of goalkeepers and defenders. Manuel Neuer, known for his innovative "sweeper goalkeeper" role, revolutionized the position. His exceptional reflexes, distribution, and leadership skills have played a crucial role in Bayern Munich's success. Similarly, Virgil Van Dijk, before his unfortunate injuries, was hailed as one of the most complete central defenders in history, contributing significantly to Liverpool's defensive stability.

The Pure Bliss of Pirlo and the Comparison to Modric

Although slightly preceding the Ronaldo and Messi era, Andrea Pirlo's elegance and grace on the field made him a joy to watch. His ability to dictate play and deliver pinpoint passes earned him a place among the football elite. Modric's playing style often draws comparisons to Pirlo, further solidifying his claim as a contender for the third best player of the era.

Kevin De Bruyne: A Rising Star

While not yet considered a legendary player due to a lack of major trophies, Kevin De Bruyne's exceptional skills and creativity cannot be overlooked. His ability to make jaw-dropping passes, such as the memorable outside-of-the-foot assist, showcases his immense talent. De Bruyne's performances for Manchester City have earned him recognition as one of the best midfielders in the world.

The debate for the third best player of the Ronaldo and Messi era continues to ignite passionate discussions among football fans. Luka Modric, with his consistent performances and individual accolades, stands out as a strong contender. However, other players like Iniesta, Xavi, Suarez, Neymar, Salah, Neuer, Van Dijk, Pirlo, and De Bruyne have also left their mark on this era, contributing to its greatness. The legacy of these players will forever be intertwined with the remarkable dominance of Ronaldo and Messi.

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