Dirk Nowitzki Settles GOAT Debate On Cristiano Ronaldo Versus Lionel Messi

Aug 12, 2023; Springfield, MA, USA; Dirk Nowitzki gives his speech as he is inducted into the 2023 Basketball Hall of Fame at Symphony Hall. Mandatory Credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

Dirk Nowitzki treads on thin ice as he joins the conversation on who’s the better soccer player. Like any other GOAT debate, this sparks a huge debate between fans of both Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

Dirk Nowitzki Identifies More With Lionel Messi

In the Kickin’ It podcast on CBS Sports Golazo, the Dallas Mavericks legend weighs in on the Messi versus Ronaldo debate. He even knows that it’s a complicated debate. However, he dips his toes by claiming to be a Messi fan.

Nowitzki doesn’t like Ronaldo’s showboating as he appreciates the Argentine soccer player more. Specifically, he likes that the latter doesn’t show off but still has the skills to dominate rival players.

“That’s a heated one. I’m a Messi guy. [It’s] how he carries himself, how he plays, super quick, super fast. Ronaldo to me, with the shirt off, with the, ‘Hey, hey look at me!’ It’s just not my style”

Dirk Nowitzki
Apr 6, 2024; Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA; Inter Miami CF forward Lionel Messi (10) moves the ball during the second half against the Colorado Rapids at Chase Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

He further cements his belief by pointing out that Messi reminds him of himself. In a way, they’re both under the radar whenever they play. However, he quickly points out that it’s his opinion, as he knows how quickly fans can band together to defend their favorite.

“Messi to me is way more low-key and I can identify more with that. But I don’t want to take anything away from Ronaldo, it’s just a personal opinion.”

Dirk Nowitzki

He has a point: Ronaldo isn’t afraid of giant and bombastic gestures and celebrations. Just a month ago, he taunted the crowd after they yelled out “Messi” repeatedly.

To prove Nowitzki’s point even more, users in the comment section already point out how Messi wouldn’t act like this.

GOAT Debates Bring Out Defenders

As expected, multiple fans appear in the podcast’s comment section. They point out that Messi isn’t even in the same league as Ronaldo.

Messi currently leads their head-to-head as he has 16 wins to Ronaldo’s 11 against each other. Furthermore, they’ve drawn nine times, and future matchups might be unlikely due to their being in different leagues.

Ultimately, this whole conversation is partly subjective, as fans like what they prefer. Nowitzki is no exception since he relates to Messi’s low-key attitude.

Who do you think is the GOAT: Messi or Ronaldo?