Lionel Messi ranks ahead of Ronaldo in 21st century top 100 players

Lionel Messi ranks ahead of Ronaldo in 21st century top 100 players

- Lionel Messi has been ranked the best player of the 21st century in Independent's recent rating

- The Argentine forward came atop of the pile with Cristiano Ronaldo, Xavi and Ronaldinho coming behind

- Andrew Iniesta, Ronaldo de Lima and Thiery Henry were also rated higher by the media outfit

Lionel Messi has beaten off stiff competition from great names in football including Xavi, Ronaldinho and his fierce rival Cristiano Ronaldo to be named the best player of the 21 century.

Messi came out top of the pile in the Independent's ranking which was based on point assessment and the position of top one hundred players across Europe's top five leagues.

The Argentine hitman, who many consider as the greatest player to ever grace the space of the sport, reached the landmark in what finally settled the debate that has always pitched him together with other greats.

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Cristiano Ronaldo came second on the list while former Barcelona duo Xavi Hernandez and Ronaldinho came 3rd and 4th respectively.

Capping the top ten are Andres Iniesta (5th), Ronaldo de Lima (6th), Thierry Henry (7th), Zinedine Zidane (8th), Kaka (9th) and Italian World Cup-winning defender Fabio Cannavaro (10th).

On the second phase of the ranking, Andrea Pirlo, Sergio Ramos, Gianluigi Buffon, Philipp Lahm, Luis Figo, Luis Suarez, Sergio Busquets, Steven Gerrard, Andrei Shevchenko and Neymar all occupied the list from 11-20.

The list also saw the like of Carles Puyol, Frank Lampard, Luka Modric, Samuel Eto'o, Wayne Rooney, Raul Gonzalez, Manuel Neuer, Paolo Maldini and Dani Alves and Arjen Robben dominate the third phase respectively.

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Meanwhile, had reported that Lionel Messi, the Argentine hitman has been ranked the greatest footballer of all-time in TierMaker's ranking of big names in football from GOAT status to overrated.

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The Barcelona ace beat his greatest challenger Cristiano Ronaldo to the landmark that set him out as the only outstanding player in the history of football befitting of the greatest title.

In the list compiled by Sportbible, the Argentine came up top of the pile with greatest icons including, Maradona, CR7, Ronaldo de Lima, Ronaldinho coming behind him in the legend status.

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