Check out the 21 footballers to have played with BOTH legends Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo throughout their respective careers.
You can’t dispute Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi’s place in the history books.
The two players have been the ruling forces in world football for a long time, and they’ve shattered countless records. A combined total of 11 Ballon d’Ors between them isn’t enough to sum it all up.
Calling even one of them a teammate is an honor and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for most players. It gives them a chance to witness their insane skills first-hand and learn from them.
Playing with both of them, however, is off the charts.
So with this in mind, we give you the names of those lucky footballers to have played with Ronaldo and Messi.
The now-retired defender played with Cristiano Ronaldo at Manchester United from 2004 to 2007.
He got the chance to witness the Portuguese’s transition into the player he is today first-hand at Old Trafford.
Heinze also made 71 appearances at international level for Argentina and teamed up with Lionel Messi during the 2010 World Cup.
It may surprise a few to hear that Pique was once Cristiano Ronaldo’s teammate at Manchester United.
While the Catalan is a product of Barcelona’s youth system, he left for United in 2004. But Pique couldn’t break into the squad, and only played alongside Ronaldo 15 times in all competitions.
The center-back returned to Barcelona in 2008, and he won many honors with Lionel Messi by his side until 2021.
The 34-year-old midfielder partnered with Cristiano Ronaldo during his early days at Real Madrid between 2009 and 2012.
Sadly, Gago missed out on the golden years that Los Blancos experienced soon after his exit He only won a Copa del Rey alongside Ronaldo in 2011.
And Gago didn’t fair much better with Messi for Argentina having lost back-to-back Copa America finals and a World Cup final.
He retired from football in November 2020 after a short spell with Club Atletico Velez Sarsfield in Argentina.
The Everton midfielder is remembered in Spain for his nightmare three-year spell at Barcelona. He couldn’t break into the team and famously described his time there as “hell” in 2018.
Nevertheless, Gomes retains respect for former teammate Lionel Messi. Therefore, he has always respectfully declined to compare him with Portugal teammate Cristiano Ronaldo.
Carlos Tevez partnered Cristiano Ronaldo at Manchester United during a two-year loan spell. Together, they won back-to-back Premier League titles and a Champions League.
The Boca Juniors striker also teamed up with Lionel Messi for the Argentinian national team. Although he didn’t enjoy the same success with the Barcelona star on the international stage.
The 27-year-old played for Barcelona from 2017 until September 2020 and won back-to-back La Liga titles. Having Lionel Messi for a teammate in Spain clearly had its perks.
Meanwhile, Nelson Semedo has played for the Portugal national team since 2015. The Wolves full-back may have missed out on a Euro 2016 spot, but he helped Fernando Santos’ men win the UEFA Nations League in 2019.
Angel Di Maria
Angel Di Maria partnered with Cristiano Ronaldo at Real Madrid from 2010 to 2014, and he won the Champions League.
The current Paris Saint-Germain winger has also made over 100 appearances for Argentina at international level and won the Copa America with Messi in July. He now teams up with his compatriot over in Paris for the new season.
The former FC Porto midfielder was a bit of a late bloomer in his career.
Still, Deco was one of the most talented players during his era and played alongside a young Lionel Messi at Barcelona. He also partnered with Cristiano Ronaldo for the Portuguese national team in Euro 2008, as well as the 2006 and 2010 World Cups.
Gonzalo Higuain is unique on this list.
What makes the Inter Miami striker so special is that he’s played with Cristiano Ronaldo for two different clubs in Juventus and Real Madrid. And obviously, Higuain shared the frontline with Lionel Messi for Argentina until he retired in 2018.
The former Valencia center-back spent two seasons attempting to break into the Real Madrid team.
Ultimately, though, he couldn’t do it and left in 2011 for Portuguese giants Benfica. However, Ezequiel Garay fared a little better with Leo by reaching the 2014 World Cup final for Argentina.
Garay announced his retirement from football in July after spending a year without a club.
Dybala gets to play with one legend at Juventus, while also partnering with the other one for the Argentina national team. It’s a unique situation that no other active player gets to experience.
And while Dybala has always refused to compare them, he’s never hidden his admiration for both CR7 and Leo.
Considering how well he is playing for Juventus this season, the 27-year-old may get to keep this honor for a long time yet.
The Celtic legend was a beloved figure in Scotland and hammered many goals in.
As he approached the latter stages of his superb career, however, Henrik Larsson wanted to take his talents elsewhere. He signed up for Barcelona in 2004 and witnessed Lionel Messi’s rise to stardom first-hand.
After winning the Champions League in 2006, Larsson won the 2006/07 Premier League with Cristiano Ronaldo during a short loan spell at Manchester United.
The Uruguayan center-back made 17 appearances alongside Messi in 2008/09 for Barcelona. The pair won a treble that season in LaLiga, Copa del Rey, and the Champions League before he left in 2009.
After spells with several clubs, Caceres returned on loan to Juventus for a third stint in January 2019. He played three games with Ronaldo and left Turin again eight months later for Fiorentina.
The 24-year-old joined Juventus last summer in a shock €72m trade deal that saw Miralem Pjanic (see below) head to Camp Nou.
Arthur had spent two years at Barcelona and won a LaLiga title in his debut campaign. A difficult second season, however, led to his exit. He has since emerged as a regular with Ronaldo and co in Turin.
The Bosnian midfielder, as mentioned previously, was sold to Barcelona last summer as part of an exchange deal for Arthur.
Pjanic spent four years at Juventus and helped Ronaldo win his first two Serie A titles before departing. But the 31-year-old appears content at Barcelona and frequently expressed his admiration for Messi before the Argentine’s departure from Camp Nou.
The 21-year-old joined Barcelona last summer from Sporting Braga and has played alongside Lionel Messi on numerous occasions. The Catalan club, however, sold him to Wolves this year due to help balance the books.
Trincao has also already become part of the Portugal national team and starred alongside Ronaldo in recent international fixtures.
The Costa Rican enjoyed a glory-laden spell with Ronaldo at Real Madrid between 2014-18. They made 125 appearances together on route to three consecutive Champions League titles.
Now Navas, who has been PSG’s No.1 goalkeeper since 2019, will play alongside Messi for the first time in his career this season.
Ramos, like Navas, is another former Real Madrid player set to play alongside Messi for the first time at PSG.
Seeing the two ex-Real Madrid and Barcelona captains become teammates should be a sight to behold, especially for Spanish football fans. They had quite a few bust-ups in the Clasicos. From brutal tackles to trading insults, it was never boring seeing these guys go head-to-head.
Ramos also spent nine years with Ronaldo in the Spanish capital and they won 15 trophies together, including four Champions League titles.
As a product of Real Madrid’s youth academy, Hakimi got the chance to play with Ronaldo once he graduated to the senior team.
The Morocco international left Spain at the same time as Ronaldo and since starred for Borussia Dortmund and Inter Milan. He now joins Messi in France for a tilt at Ligue 1 glory and a second Champions League title.
After a successful loan spell last season, Pereira has joined PSG on a permanent deal until 2025 and will partner Messi.
The 29-year-old midfielder has also played with Ronaldo for Portugal at international level. The pair have won Euro 2016 and the UEFA Nations League together.
Another footballer who will share the pitch with Messi for the first time is Sarabia. The Spanish winger has made 78 appearances for PSG since his €18 million move from Sevilla in 2019.
As a product of Real Madrid’s youth academy, Sarabia also shared a dressing room Ronaldo in the first team. Technically speaking, though, he never actually played at the same time as the Portuguese icon.