Messi, Ronaldo and all the winners of The Goal 50

Lionel Messi has been crowned as the winner of the 2015 Goal 50 - but what is the roll of honour since the award was created seven years ago?
Since its inception in 2008, the Goal 50 has been dominated by two men - the new Goal 50 winner Lionel Messi, and Cristiano Ronaldo. Indeed, only one other player has ever got his hands on the prestigious prize, Wesley Sneijder, in 2010.

That Ronaldo and Messi have claimed seven of the eight trophies is unsurprising, given the pair have been breaking records for fun over the past decade.

Ronaldo, of course, started out as a fleet-footed winger but became the complete footballer towards the tail end of his Manchester United career.

In his penultimate season at Old Trafford, he scored 42 goals in just 49 games in all competitions, with his fantastic form helping Sir Alex Ferguson side's to win the Champions League and earning the Portuguese the inaugural Goal 50 trophy.

The following season ushered in the era of 'Tiki-taka', with Messi the chief beneficiary of the brilliance of Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Co. Barcelona completed a historic treble by beating United in the Champions League final, with Messi rather symbolically outshining Ronaldo in Rome. The baton had been passed - and so too had the Goal 50 award, with Messi taking it back to Catalonia for the first time.







Messi, though, like Barca, failed to defend his title, with Sneijder deservedly coming out on top in 2010. The Dutch playmaker may have been criminally overlooked by Ballon d'Or voters but he was named our No.1 player on the planet after playing a key role in Inter's treble triumph, as well as in Netherlands' remarkable run to the World Cup final in South Africa.

Messi and Barca came storming back in 2011, with the Argentina international again on target as the Catalans defeated United in the Champions League final at Wembley. 2012, however, belonged to Ronaldo, who fired Real Madrid to a historic tally of 100 points in their Liga title-winning campaign.

By this stage, Messi and Ronaldo were bringing the best out of one another, with the diminutive No.10 reasserting himself as the best player in the world with a stellar 2013, bagging a ridiculous 46 goals in 32 games in Barca's Primera Division success.

Ronaldo, though, is nothing if not resilient, and he equalled Messi's record of three Goal 50 awards by scoring a staggering 17 times during Madrid's triumphant 2013-14 Champions League campaign.

Messi's attitude, however, is clearly 'Anything Cristiano can do...' After recovering from various niggling injuries, he returned to his very best last season, leading Barca to another treble with a string of sensational performances and iconic goals, the most notable of which came against Athletic Bilbao in the Copa del Rey final and Bayern Munich in the last four of the Champions League.



Messi now has four Goal 50 awards. Over to you, Cristiano...