Lionel Messi and Ronaldo’s seemingly impossible feats of football have sparked accusations of secret sorcery – a plausible conspiracy when you look back at these unbelievable moments.
Sit back and enjoy some of the spellbinding moments throughout their decorated careers.
His delicious chip against Real Betis
Lionel Messi’s hat-trick in the 4-1 win over Real Betis was capped off by a goal which some speculate could not have been scored without magical intervention.
One year on, and we’re still trying to figure out how Lionel Messi managed to chip the Real Betis goalkeeper Pau Lopez from here.
When he beat the entire Getafe defence.. By himself
At the time, Lionel Messi still a teenager but was already being compared to fellow countrymen Diego Maradona and when Messi did this in the Copa Del Rey semi-final against Getafe in 2007, those comparisons only intensified.
The solo stunner bares a striking resemblance to the ‘goal of the century’ which Maradona scored in the 1986 FIFA World Cup win over England.
Unsurprisingly, Barcelona fans voted Messi’s magical run the best goal in the club’s rich history.
When he humiliated three Bilbao defenders
When three Athletic Bilbao defenders circled Messi at the top of the box in 2014, the Argentine star appeared to be out of options.
But miraculously in another display of the supernatural, Messi came out the other side before slotting it past the keeper to send beIN SPORTS commentator Ray Hudson into a frenzy.
Was it simply Messi’s skill, or something supernatural which hindered the Bilbao defence? You be the judge.
The day he bamboozled Bilbao, again
One year after Lionel Messi’s humiliated the Bilbao defence, the Barca ace was back at it again, this time the stage was the 2015 Copa Del Rey final.
In a case of Deja-Vu, three Bilbao defenders thought they had Messi contained, before the 32 year-old waived his magic wand to leave his opponents bewildered.
Messi then beat a fourth defender for good measure, before beating the goalkeeper at his near post to help his side hoist the trophy.
When he sent Milner for a hot dog
James Milner is trying to keep busy during isolation by sorting tea bags and cutting grass, but his desperate attempt to keep busy may be in a bid to forget this run-in with Messi, which undoubtedly still plagues the Englishman.
Messi's sorcery against Sevilla
Few footballers are blessed with the tekkers to pull off a nutmeg, or chip the goalkeeper, but to do both in the one play? We are not worthy!
This goal Lionel Messi scored against Sevilla in 2012 has to be seen to be believed.
That gravity-defying header
The diminutive winger is not known for his heading prowess, but when Lionel Messi’s puts his mind to it, anything is possible.
Take this header, which helped Barca to UEFA Champions league glory against Manchester United in 2009.
He turned goalkeepers into witch's hats
Most strikers will attest that the easiest way to beat a goalkeeper is with a shot, but most strikers aren’t Barcelona legend Ronaldo.
The Brazilian prefers to score with flair, dribbling past helpless goalkeepers to roll it into an empty net.
In a testament to how often the Barcelona great left shot-stoppers spellbound, here’s a six minute compilation dedicated only to Ronaldo rounding goalkeepers.
He scored FIVE goals in one game at 16
Ronaldo was thrust into Brazil’s top flight as a 16 year-old in 1993, but the prodigy seemed immune to the pressure of the big stage.
At 16, El Phenomenon scored five goals in a 6-0 win over Bahia, and in his first two seasons, went on to bag 44 goals in 47 games.
His trademark ‘elastico’ has to be witchcraft
When you make the seemingly impossible look this easy, it’s little wonder why Ronaldo has been accused of football sorcery.
He won a world cup at 17
As a 17 year-old, Ronaldo was still part of the Brazil squad which won the 1994 FIFA World Cup.
His haters will say he didn’t play in the tournament, but to win the trophy which has eluded some of the world’s best players (including Messi) at 17 is out of this world.
To appease the critics, he did go on to win the 2002 FIFA World Cup, where he was the tournament’s top goalscorer.
His impossible goal against Compostela
Like Lionel Messi, Ronaldo scored a sublime solo goal for Barcelona, but the Brazlian’s moment of magic came 11 years prior against Compostela.
This remarkable goal epitomized the Ronaldo’s rare mix of power, pace and skill which made him one of the most feared forwards of all-time.
That hat-trick at Old Trafford
Manchester United prided itself on its defence at Old Trafford, but the Red Devils hadn’t accounted for the mystic Brazilian when Real Madrid took on United in the 2002 Champions League quarter final.
Ronaldo put the exclamation mark on his hat-trick with an emphatic pile-driver from 30 yards, which many United fans couldn’t help but applaud.