A Financial Times Sports book of the Year 2018 pick
Who's better: Ronaldo or Messi? Ask any football fan and they'll have an opinion.
For the best part of the last decade football has seen a personal rivalry unlike any seen before. Cristiano and Leo. This is their definitive story, from children kicking a ball halfway around the world from each other to their era-defining battle to be number one.
One the preening adonis, a precision physical machine who blows teams away with his pace and power. The other a shuffling genius, able to do things with a football that seem other-worldly. Their differences seem to tap into something fundamental about football and indeed life.
Between them they have scored over a thousand goals, won the Ballon d'Or nine times and redefined modern football. For the past eight seasons they have shared the accolade of best footballer in the world and arguments rage over which one deserves the title of greatest player of all time. Cristiano and Leo by Spanish and South American football expert and journalist Jimmy Burns is the essential book to understand the defining players of a generation.
'Burns is incapable of writing a boring sentence.' - Irish Times
Born in Madrid, Jimmy Burns studied in London and Lancashire, worked in Portugal, Spain and Buenos Aires and is an award winning journalist and author, who wrote the internationally acclaimed Hand of God: A Biography of Diego Maradona, La Roja, Barca and When Beckham Went to Spain. He is married, and has two daughters. His favourite hobbies - apart from watching a good football match or playing football on the beach - include tennis, walking, and practicing yoga.
Section - i: Prologue Chapter - 1: Madeira Chapter - 2: Rosario Chapter - 3: Rites of Passage: Ronaldo Chapter - 4: Little Big Man: Messi Chapter - 5: Lisbon Star: Ronaldo Chapter - 6: Growing Pains: Messi Chapter - 7: Into the Market: Ronaldo Chapter - 8: The Dwarf: Messi Chapter - 9: The Red Legacy: Ronaldo Chapter - 10: International Break - Euro Blues: Ronaldo Chapter - 11: First Team Calling: Messi Chapter - 12: Manchester Days: Ronaldo Chapter - 13: The Rise of the Hobbit: Messi Chapter - 14: International Break - Diego's Shadow: Messi Chapter - 15: World Cup Trauma: Ronaldo the Winker Chapter - 16: Kicking On: Ronaldo Chapter - 17: The New Maradona: Messi Chapter - 18: Close Encounters: Messi vs Ronaldo Chapter - 19: Ronaldinho's Farewell: Messi Chapter - 20: Euro 2008: Ronaldo Under Pressure Chapter - 21: International Break - The Beijing Olympics and Maradona Chapter - 22: Centre Stage: Ronaldo Chapter - 23: The Guardiola Revolution: Messi Chapter - 24: Goodbye Old Trafford, Hello Bernabeu: Ronaldo Chapter - 25: Untouchable: Messi Chapter - 26: International Break - World Cup 2010: Messi Chapter - 27: World Cup 2010: Ronaldo Chapter - 28: Enter Mourinho Chapter - 29: Clasicos: Ronaldo and Messi Chapter - 30: Mourinho Strikes Back Chapter - 31: International Break - Euro 2012: Ronaldo Chapter - 32: Life after Pep and with Mourinho: Messi and Ronaldo Chapter - 33: King Cristiano; Black Dog Messi Chapter - 34: International Break - World Cup Disappointment, National Embarrassment: Messi and Ronaldo Chapter - 35: Enrique vs Ancelotti Chapter - 36: International Break - The 2016 Copa America: Messi Chapter - 37: Rebuilding: Messi and Ronaldo Chapter - 38: International Break - Euro 2016: Ronaldo the Manager Chapter - 39: On Trial: Messi Chapter - 40: Legends: Messi and Ronaldo Chapter - 41: Conclusion Acknowledgements - ii: Acknowledgements Section - iii: Bibliography Section - iv: Notes Index - v: Index