The two best players in Barcelona's history, unique opportunity to have these two pieces of world football history.
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Lionel Andrés Messi Cuccittini (Rosario, 24 June 1987), known as Leo Messi, is an Argentine footballer who plays as a forward or midfielder. He's developed his entire career in the FC Barcelona and is captain of the Argentina national team.
Often considered the best player in the world and one of the greatest of all time, Messi is the first footballer in history to win, among other awards, five Ballon d'Or (one Ballon d’Or and four FIFA Ballon d’Or), winning the first four consecutively, as well as five Golden Shoes. He has won 33 trophies with Barcelona, including nine La Liga titles, four UEFA Champions League titles, and six Copas del Rey.
A prolific goalscorer, Messi holds, among others, the records for most official goals scored in a season and a calendar year, in La Liga, in the Supercopa de España, in the UEFA Super Cup, top non-European scorer in the UEFA Champions League as well as FC Barcelona and Argentine top scorer. He is one of the footballers with most assists in official matches since records began.
Born and raised in Rosario, at age 13 he relocated to Spain to join Barcelona, who agreed to pay for his medical treatment. He had been diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency as a child. After a fast progression through Barcelona's youth academy, Messi made his competitive debut aged 17 in October 2004. Despite being injury-prone during his early career, he established himself as an integral player for the club.
In 2007 he was a finalist for both the Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year award, a feat he repeated in 2008. His first uninterrupted campaign came in the 2008–09 season, during which he helped Barcelona achieve the first treble in Spanish football. At 22 years old, Messi won the Ballon d'Or and the FIFA World Player of the Year award.
Three successful seasons followed, with Messi winning three consecutive FIFA Ballon d'Or, including an unprecedented fourth. His personal best campaign statistically to date was the 2011–12 season, in which he set the La Liga and European records for most goals scored in a single season, while establishing himself as Barcelona's all-time top scorer in official competitions in March 2012. The following two seasons, Messi got injured again and finished twice second for the Ballon d'Or behind Cristiano Ronaldo, his perceived career rival. Messi regained his best form during the 2014–15 campaign, breaking the all-time goalscoring records in both La Liga and the Champions League, led Barcelona to a historic second treble, and won his fifth Ballon d’Or.
Ronaldo de Assis Moreira (Porto Alegre, 21 March 1980), known as Ronaldinho in the sports world, is a retired Brazilian football player who became a Spanish citizen. He is world-renowned as one of the greatest talents in the history of the sport.
The Brazilian player's last season in France was marked by the relentless rumours surrounding his transfer to a large European club. Finally, in July 2003, the player's sale to FC Barcelona for an amount of 24 million euros was made public. The Brazilian signed a five-year contract at a rate of 3 million euros net per season.
He made his debut in the team's 0–1 win over Athletic Club. His scored his first official goal as FC Barcelona player in the second round, against Sevilla at Camp Nou, with a spectacular shot from 25 metres. The shouts of joy of the FC Barcelona fans after this goal were of such intensity that they were registered by the seismographs of Barcelona.
In his first season (2003–04), the team was second, finishing behind Valencia CF, and Ronaldinho scored 15 goals in 32 La Liga games. That same year, the player received FIFA World Player award.
Quickly, the player became an idol among the FC Barcelona supporters, standing alongside other Brazilian players who passed through the FC Barcelona as Romario, Ronaldo or Rivaldo. He won the Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player in 2005, both times over Chelsea FC midfielder Frank Lampard, being crowned as the best world player of the time.
In 2004-2005 season, FC Barcelona became La Liga champion thanks to the Brazilian star, who scored nine goals and was decisive at the end of the season. In European competitions, the FC Barcelona is eliminated from Champions League by Chelsea FC. At the top of world football, Ronaldinho extended his contract with Barcelona until 2010, within President Joan Laporta's strategy of ensuring the continuity of the team's key players, among which of course there was the Brazilian, in addition to Víctor Valdés, Carles Puyol, Xavi Hernández, Deco, or Samuel Eto'o.
In 2005-2006, Barcelona started the season wining the Spanish Super Cup, ended the year winning the Spanish La Liga and the Champions League. The player lived great moments. In the La Liga game against Real Madrid CF, at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, he scored 2 goals and the Real Madrid supporters stood up to applaud him, something that only Diego Armando Maradona or Julen Guerrero had achieved before. Ronaldinho scored 17 goals in La Liga. The 2005-2006 season was not only Ronaldinho’s second consecutive La Liga title with FC Barcelona, but also his first—and only—UEFA Champions League of his football career. The player was named ‘best player’ of the competition. He scored 7 goals and gave 4 assists.
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