The battle of the best: Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi
They have seen it all and have conquered them all. They both hold probably every major goal scoring record ever that exist and are making new records every day. Probably the two most gifted and accomplished players present in the football world at the time, the comparison between Ronaldo and Messi is an endless one. Sport thrives on rivalries, and it is this one between the spearheads of Barcelona and Real Madrid that has defined the last decade in footballing circles. Both players have consistently produced brilliant performances, which have seen them become the best of their generation.
“Cristiano Ronaldo is a very complete player, but Messi is better because he has magic”-Ronaldhino
“What Ronaldo is doing is from another planet. If he continues, he could end up winning more than Messi.”-Zidane
Nothing to choose from
Cristiano Ronaldo hailing from Portugal is 29 years of age while Argentinean Lionel Messi is 27 years old. Messi has 4 Ballon d’or to his name while Ronaldo recently won his 3rd Ballon d’or. Both the players have not quite lived up to their reputation at the international level. Ronaldo’s best World cup campaign was a semifinal loss in 2006 while Messi the winner of golden ball of 2014 world cup was the runner up.
“Ronaldo is easily the best player in the world. He is streets ahead of Messi. His contribution as a goal threat is unbelievable. Strikes at goal, attempts on goal, raids into the penalty box, headers. It is all there. “– Sir Alex Ferguson, July 2009.
“Messi is my Maradona,” – said Maradona himself, as the head coach of the Argentine national team.
Messi sits on top of the pile in Champions’ league with 75 goals while Ronaldo is not far behind with 72 goals. Messi recently became La Liga’s top scorer with 262 goals in which he debuted in 2005 with Ronaldo coming from Manchester united to Real Madrid in 2009 has 205 goals in La Liga. Ronaldo (23) toppled Messi (22) to become the player with highest hat-tricks in La Liga.
Ronaldo already won the FIFA Club World Cup and UEFA Super Cup with Real Madrid this season and has been on a goal scoring spree this season scoring 36 goals from 30 with 28 coming in La Liga in 17 appearances while Messi has 28 goals in 26 games in all competitions with 19 goals in La Liga.
Many football legends when asked to choose between the two take the diplomatic way while many have vouched for a player publically claiming either one is ‘the best in the world’. As the statistics show, however, there is very little to separate the two. While Messi dominates in some areas, Ronaldo holds the upper hand in others. Depending upon what statistic you wish to consider as the most important, you can make your own conclusion based on these numbers but there is no denying the fact that these two have changed football and how it is perceived forever.