'I won 4 Champions Leagues with Cristiano Ronaldo - this is why Lionel Messi is the GOAT' (2024)


  • Luka Modric has won six Champions Leagues during his career, including four alongside Cristiano Ronaldo.
  • The midfielder has also enjoyed success on the international stage, helping Croatia to reach the final of the 2018 World Cup as well as the semi-finals in 2022.
  • Despite winning countless trophies at Real Madrid alongside Ronaldo, Modric ranks Lionel Messi above the Portuguese as the greatest player of all time.

It is rare for a 38-year-old footballer to be adding major trophies to their name and continuing to fine-tune their legacy in the game, but that is exactly what Croatia and Real Madrid midfield sensation Luka Modric is doing in 2024.

Modric, who arrived in Madrid 12 years ago without a single major honour to his name, became the first player (along with Real Madrid teammate Dani Carvajal) to win six Champions Leagues after helping his Real Madrid team to see off Borussia Dortmund in the 2024 final at Wembley.

Modric's Career Alongside Ronaldo

Pair won four Champions Leagues together

'I won 4 Champions Leagues with Cristiano Ronaldo - this is why Lionel Messi is the GOAT' (1)

Rewind ten years and Modric, who was approaching 30, was disregarded in the conversations discussing the greatest midfielders of his generation, with El Clasico rival players such as Andres Iniesta, Xavi, and Sergio Busquets, at that point, having far more illustrious careers. But the box-to-box technician is now undoubtedly among the greatest midfielders of this century and the most successful club-level player of all-time.

In 2018, Modric became the first player to break Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi's 10-year Ballon D'Or duopoly after helping Real Madrid to their 13th European Cup and inspiring Croatia's unlikely run to the final of the World Cup in Russia. If any player has the technical prowess, experience, and footballing education to weigh in on the Greatest Player of All Time debate, it's Modric.

GIVEMESPORT Key Statistic: Luka Modric's 135 international appearances make him the most-capped Croatian player of all-time.

Modric played 222 games alongside Ronaldo at Real Madrid, assisting the Portuguese legend on 14 occasions, as the duo went on to win four Champions League trophies together during a wildly successful period.

But stylistically, the Croatian midfielder shares more similarities with his former El Clasico rival, Lionel Messi. While Messi and Modric operate in different positions and areas on the pitch, both are small in stature, use their elegance, balance, and control to glide past defenders and dictate play in an almost artist-like fashion.

Cristiano Ronaldo Vs Lionel Messi

Modric gives his verdict

'I won 4 Champions Leagues with Cristiano Ronaldo - this is why Lionel Messi is the GOAT' (2)

During the 2022 World Cup, Modric's heroics and the resilience of his teammates saw Croatia go deep in the tournament once again, meeting Messi's Argentina in the last four. Croatia were easily beaten 3-0 and after the semi-final defeat, Modric modestly stated:

"I hope he (Messi) will win this World Cup, he is the best player in history and he deserves it. He is playing a great World Cup, he shows quality and greatness in every game."

Unsurprisingly, Modric's comment gained plenty of attention. Prior to Messi's World Cup win, it was almost impossible to determine who'd had the more successful career between Messi and Ronaldo. While Messi will always be regarded as the more naturally gifted footballer, Ronaldo's goal-scoring record and ability to drag his teams from the cusp of defeat was hard to ignore when deciding who the 'GOAT' is.

But Modric's comments before Messi had even got his hands on the World Cup were big news at the time. Modric's comments were not out of spite or to belittle the achievements of Ronaldo, who the Croatian is full of praise for.


Jude Bellingham's Answer to the Cristiano Ronaldo vs Lionel Messi Debate

Jude Bellingham gave his honest opinion of the age-old Cristiano Ronaldo vs Lionel Messi debate while at Borussia Dortmund.

While speaking to Rio Ferdinand Presents FIVE's YouTube channel, Modric claimed Ronaldo was the greatest player he'd ever played alongside. He stated: "The most special thing about Cristiano Ronaldo? His work ethic. He always wants more and more. He's never happy with what he does. This is amazing. The demand he put on himself and the team was unbelievable.

"I think everyone will agree that Cristiano was one of the best, if not the best player for Real Madrid. In terms of scoring goals, titles, individual records, team trophies, he was so influential. He was a leader on and off the pitch. It was such a pleasure to play with him all these years and to win so many trophies together."

While Ronaldo's career was eventually arguably eclipsed by the brilliance of Messi, being dubbed the best player in a Real Madrid team that won four UEFA Champions League trophies in five seasons represents the influence, importance, and respect the man had at Europe's most successful club.

'I won 4 Champions Leagues with Cristiano Ronaldo - this is why Lionel Messi is the GOAT' (2024)


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