When you see teams and individuals compete and excel at the highest level comparisons are bound to happen. Sports, through its history has been a witness to high ranking global rivalries and today’s rivalry between Christiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi is perhaps the biggest of them all.
The entire Global soccer fan club is engaged in this unending debate surrounding the two greats of modern football- MESSI OR RONALDO- Who is the best?
It is must be the hardest question for a sports buff to answer. Both of them have proved that they are the best in modern football. Both have scored more than 500 career goals: both have won the FIFA BALLON D’ OR award multiple times- Messi 5 times to Ronaldo’s 4.
They represent the best and the richest clubs in the world- Messi plays for Argentina &FC Barcelona and Ronaldo plays for Portugal & Real Madrid. They are one of the richest sportsmen/ women in the world. Both have huge fan clubs all over the world. When the same question was asked to some experts in the field – they too agreed to the complexity of the question. Though they are of the unanimous opinion about the greatness- the final verdict went in favour of Messi. This can be seen from the-
The ardent followers of soccer feel Messi is more natural, talented, and skilled and he was born to play soccer. Some say he is technically more gifted. What defines natural talent in him is the attractiveness, the ease of movement and the elegance in his play- something we commonly call as GRACE.
Where it is difficult to define talent the experts see it through their eyes. In contrast Ronaldo is rated as a complete footballer as he is proficient with his foot, body or head. Many say, to be where he is now he has worked hard, been persistent, sacrificed, persevered and above all has had the desire to be the best.
This argument cannot take away the Hard Work factor from Messi’s greatness – without which it is difficult to achieve anything big. This observation has been supported by Analyst and Cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle who said- If you marry a phenomenal work ethic to the talent you are born with then you can achieve almost anything.
When Sachin Tendulkar and Vinod Kambli made an unbroken partnership of 664 runs for Sharadhashram Vidyamandir in the year 1988, a world record was created [recently been broken]. The pair created havoc on the opposition and promised of many great deeds to follow. Sachin younger of the two made his Test match debut in the year 1989 and the one day international’s debut also in the same year. The rest was history: he went on to play 24 long years for India and his exploits are well known.
His Sharadhashram school friend debuted for India in one dayer’s in 1993 & tests in 1993. While Sachin made steady progress in his initial days of his International career his buddy Kambli created a sensation from the word-GO. He was the fastest to score 1000 test runs for India. He was the only one to score back to back Double hundred’s and followed it up with another hundred.
Such was his class: the pundits compared his game to that of Roy Fredricks & Brian Lara. He made his last test appearance for India in 1995 & last one-day appearance in 2000. His career was marred with controversies and he was to make an unceremonious exit from the Indian test team. He represented India in 17 tests made 1084 runs with 4 centuries 104 One day Intl’s scoring 2477 runs making 2 hundred’s.
What happened to Vinod Kambli? Why did he not enjoy the longevity in the Indian Team like Sachin did? Why did he not live up to his early promise? Was his case a self-made disaster? What did Sachin have that Kambli didn’t? These were the questions that ate in to everyone’s mind then and even now perhaps. Many rued at the sheer waste of TALENT in case of Vinod Kambli. Experts said he was more talented than Sachin but didn’t stay long to do justice to it.
We have already examined the case of Messi vs. Ronaldo: though Ronaldo didn’t possess the so-called born Talent, he developed greatness through his dedication, discipline, commitment, hard work and sacrifice. A self-made prowess that was so good enough to be called as world’s best. Can you ask for more?
The same may have been the case with Sachin, though none can say he didn’t possess initial talent: he didn’t depend on it. He made HARD WORK Dedication and commitment as his mantras for his phenomenal success. Why did Kambli who like Messi was born talented, but did not realise the inherent potential?
This was more to do with his lack of commitment, lack of unbending work ethic and hard work. He was known to be a happy- go- lucky who had a penchant for the good things in life. He led a flamboyant life style, married twice and at some point in his life dabbled at politics, movies and small screen TV shows. Sachin admitted that – they both had different nature, and reacted to situations differently.
From this study we can draw a conclusion that talent if present is a BONUS: but you cannot depend on it entirely. Whether you are blessed with TALENT or without it, you can make greatness your own through HARD WORK, DEDICATION, COMMITMENT & DISCIPLINE.
Read more on HARD WORK & TALENT from my book- SUCCESS MANTRA IN SPORTS- key concepts to peak performance. Available online through: AMAZON- amzn.to/2tGze77.