Never before has there been such dissent in the soccer world. Ask any fan, any expert, anyone who their favorite is, who they believe is better or simply who they prefer, and you will never, ever reach consensus. It is the never-ending argument that speaks volumes and goes beyond the sport. When the best Spanish teams, FC Barcelona and Real Madrid, the biggest story of the match is Lionel Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo. But the question remains, who is better?
After comparing Messi and Ronaldo’s total career statistics it’s clear that Messi has the better point per game average, and maybe deserves the right to be called the greatest player of his generation. Not just because of his scoring records but for the dozens of trophies and awards his won and most importantly his individual influence and impact towards the sport. Both of these athletes have had remarkable careers and probably be two of the best players to ever play the game. But who truly deserves to be recognized as the most talented player on the planet?
Looking over every aspect of each star’s game such as scoring ability, physical attributes, talent, and team play is the best way to decide who the best player in the world is. Since the appearance of Messi and Ronaldo on the scene, La Liga’s trophy for top scorer has only been about two players. The two stars have taken scoring goals to a whole new level. The numbers barely separate them. Messi has netted 315 goals in 381 games for Barcelona, since making his debut in the 2004/05 season. Ronaldo averages a perfect one per game in, with 201 goals in 201 games. This would appear to give Ronaldo a small advantage but take into account that Messi’s total includes the first four seasons of his professional career, well a young Messi was still trying to find himself as a player.
Ronaldo is the complete player in front of goal and strong enough to make him a threat for any defence. Messi’s ability to score on the pitch, and his coolness in defining shots, proves that he comes out as the best goalscorer. Ronaldo began life in football as a lanky teenager often very weak on the ball, but began to work harder so he was fit to play against the best. At 6’1″ and with an imposing presence, he uses his pace and power to mark himself as one of the most perfect physical specimens in all of football. This characteristic is not the most fair to compare considering Messi was diagnosed at 11 with a growth hormone deficiency, but Messi at 5’7 has a low centre of gravity and a strong core that allows him to shrug off challenges from even the toughest players around league. There is no doubt that in purely physical terms, he trails behind his towering rival. Watching videos of Ronaldo as teenager playing for his old clubs Sporting and Manchester united was unbelievable.
Ronaldo appeared equipped with fearsome dribbling skills which, allied to his pace, made him a prospect to watch very closely. In truth, however, the striker was never a Ronaldinho or a Maradona or indeed, a Messi with the ball at his feet. It was only when all stepovers and attempted dribbles leaded to unnecessary turnovers that end up costing his team which resulting in him to use less skill to develop into the player he is now. Messi never uses his dribbling abilities when there is no need a quick flick here, a fast turn there and suddenly he is on a breakaway. His talent for dribbling, and most importantly the foresight to know when to use it best, puts him ahead of Ronaldo. Lastly team play which is arguably the most important part of the game.
A man blessed with all that talent, Messi is really something special in the world of football. For many reasons, Messi provides almost as many assists as he does goals and that shows the type of player he is on and off the pitch, meanwhile Ronaldo has the reputation of being an egotistical player who likes to make the headlines all about himself in interviews, while his rival goes to great lengths to put the team above his own performances.In some ways, Cristiano Ronaldo suffers from bad luck. Strong, quick, deadly in front of goal and with the ability to do the spectacular things on the pitch to score goals, in most generations he would undoubtedly be the best player in the world but Unfortunately for him, he gets shadowed by Messi. Messi talents and his humble approach put him slightly above the Ronaldo and leave no doubt that he is the best player on the planet.
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