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They were regularly trading blows in the race for the Ballon d'Or, with Messi's win in the 2023 edition taking his tally to eight, which exceeds Ronaldo's five.
Along with their supremacy in the upper echelons of European football, they have also both switched their surroundings for pastures new in a supposedly lesser league over the past year.
Ronaldo, 38, joined Saudi Pro League side Al-Nassr at the end of 2022 after his acrimonious departure from Man United, while Messi, 36, moved on from PSG to join David Beckham's MLS franchise Inter Miami in the summer.
But how are the pair settling in to their new homes, and what are their lifestyles like? Mail Sport takes a look...
Lionel Messi (left) and Cristiano Ronaldo (right) are arguably the greatest players of all-time and both moved to supposedly 'lesser leagues' for a new challenge over the past year
Messi has scored 11 goals in 14 games for Inter Miami and has sprinkled stardust on the MLS
Ronaldo has continued to take the acclaim of fans after making the move to Saudi Arabia
Since Messi joined Inter Miami in July, the Argentine World Cup winner has acclimatised effortlessly, with 11 goals and five assists in just 14 games as he has sprinkled stardust and firepower to the previously beleaguered MLS outfit.
Off the field, the adaptation has been just as smooth, with Messi - who is set to earn $54million-per-year (£44m-per-year) - spotted with his family within days of his arrival out and about in Miami.
Along with his wife Antonela and their three sons Mateo, Thiago and Ciro, he was seen grocery shopping at US supermarket chain Publix, with cereals such as General Mills' Lucky Charms and Kellogg's' Fruit Loops even in the family's shopping basket.
He was also quickly swarmed by supporters when trying a sneaky exit from famous Italian restaurant Cafe Prima Pasta in Miami Beach, with one over enthusiastic individual even kissing him on the cheek.
Messi - who rejected overtures from Saudi Arabian clubs along with a romantic return to Barcelona - no doubt also chose a move to Inter Miami due to his previous links with the area.
Reports stated he was in favour of the deal due to its proximity to Argentina, while Miami is home to one of America's largest Latino populations.
The Argentine has also reportedly owned a $9m (£7.3m) apartment in Miami for a number of years.
According to Spanish outlet Cadena Ser, the World Cup winner bought one in the Porsche Design Tower all the way back in 2019.
Lionel Messi has been settling into life in Miami well with wife Antonela and their three sons
Messi has been spotted immersing himself in US culture by going to supermarkets in Miami
He has regularly been swarmed by adoring supporters when out and about in his new city
The Tower, which was built in 2017, is an astonishing 60-floor building and is situated between Bal Harbour and Aventura which is about 25 minutes away from the Inter Miami stadium.
It offers residents stunning views of the surrounding area, including Miami Beach, which is located just seconds away.
The building also boasts several lifts designed just for residents' cars, allowing owners to park their vehicles in their exclusive suite.
As well as car lifts, the apartment even has its own private restaurant and an outdoor lounge that faces the sea.
Messi's jaw-dropping new home also features a cinema, along with golf and racing simulators, which offers perfect downtime opportunities for his family.
He isn't far from a familiar face either. His friend and former international teammate Sergio Aguero reportedly lives in Hollywood, Miami after he and his girlfriend Sofia Calzetti bought a $15m (£12.2m) waterfront mansion.
Meanwhile social media star Adin Ross also claimed he was outbid for a separate (£8.74million) mansion by Messi, which is believed to be for either the player's parents or grandparents to stay in when they come to watch him in action for the MLS side.
Taking to social media to lament his loss, Ross hinted that there was no way of competing with the World Cup winner, who in May was named the second-highest paid athlete in the world by Forbes.
Messi is thought to have made £107m in 2022 in an even split between on-field and off-field earnings during his final year at French giants PSG.
His MLS contract with new side Inter Miami is all-but unmatched by his peers in the league, combining a bumper payday with lucrative add-on deals with AppleTV and club sponsor Adidas.
His deal is reportedly being bankrolled in part by Adidas, with the sportwear giants giving him a share of the shirts they sell with his name on, and Apple TV, who are sharing the money made from TV subscriptions to MLS.
All in all, the Argentine great has settled into life in Miami well and his own private bodyguard - who is ex-navy SEAL Yassine Chueko - has become an iconic figure himself for his presence by Messi's side throughout his time at his new club.
He has even been seen on the touchline at games, following Messi's every move to protect his safety in case of pitch invaders.
Messi's $9m (£7.3m) apartment in The Porsche Design Tower offers stunning views of Miami
The luxury apartment has its own