Messi surpasses Ronaldo as decade's best footballer
Nominees for the Best FIFA football player, Barcelona and Argentina forward Lionel Messi (R) and Real Madrid and Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo (L) chat before taking their seats for The Best FIFA Football Awards ceremony, on October 23, 2017 in London. [AFP PHOTO / Ben STANSALL]

Lionel Messi has been named as the International Federation of Football History and Statistics’ (IFFHS) player of the decade pipping rival Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Argentine and the current Juventus star have dominated football’s individual accolades for years.

But Messi’s exploits at Barcelona over the past decade were deemed superior.

The 33-year-old has remained a one club man and claimed a further two Champions League titles with the Catalan club.

Under a host of different managers Messi has continued to produce and added a further six La Liga titles and five Copa del Reys.

He is still waiting for a first major international success however having fallen short in several Copa America finals.

Ronaldo has achieved success with Portugal at Euro 2016 and also picked up four European titles with Real Madrid.

He has been pipped by his rival to the top spot however on this particular occasion.

Messi surpasses Ronaldo as decade's best footballer
Soccer Football – Champions League – Group G – FC Barcelona v Juventus – Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain – December 8, 2020 Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo with FC Barcelona’s Lionel Messi before the match [REUTERS/Albert Gea]

Andres Iniesta, another Barcelona star, was named in third for his role in their period of dominance.

Neymar, who also played for the Catalan club, is fourth on the list.

The Brazilian has continued to pick up trophies at PSG having made a world record move to France in 2017

Sergio Ramos, who alongside Ronaldo won four European crowns with Los Blancos, is fifth as the only defender on the list.

Bayern Munich pair Manuel Neuer and Robert Lewandowski were named in sixth and seventh having won the treble with the German side last term.

Gianluigi Buffon is the second goalkeeper on the list in eighth with Zlatan Ibrahimovic in ninth.

The Swede, at the age of 39, continues to produce the goods having played for four of Europe’s major clubs this decade.

Luka Modric, the man who stopped the Messi and Ronaldo dominance of the Ballon d’Or, completes the top ten having reached the World Cup final with Croatia.

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