Messi v Ronaldo. To many Lionel Messi is seen as the Greatest of all-time, but for me that crown sits with his long standing rival Cristiano Ronaldo. Why I hear you cry! Well I have my reasons, let me break them down to you right now…
Match Winning Ability
Yes you could argue Ronaldo has also been in great teams but you would be wrong…all you have to do is look at the Portugal national team and you would be hard pressed to point out many world class players (apart from Ronaldo) yet they still managed to win Euro 2016. How? That one man wrecking ball Cristiano!
On the other hand Messi, until this year, has not managed to win any silverware for Argentina. I am not one to judge on country success alone but as Messi has won all of his domestic titles in a dominant Barcelona team it is hard to judge his individual winning ability as easily.
Ronaldo – 10/10
Messi – 9/10
But who has had them most success for their clubs?
Ronaldo has managed to win titles at Manchester United, Real Madrid, Juventus and Portugal, covering the 3 top leagues as well as international glory. In a team that were by no means the best at the 2016 tournament.
Messi has won 35 trophies with Barcelona of which 10 were for La Liga and 4 for the Champions league. A truly magnificent total but as previously mentioned this was all within the confines of a dominant Barcelona team with very little outside competition for the trophies (Champions League aside). This is why, rightly or wrongly the achievements as good as they are feel lessened in comparision to those of Ronaldo.
Bags and bags of talent. It is a simple as that, both players are loaded with talent but who has more?
Messi the 5ft 7 magician is one of the best naturally technically gifted footballers that has ever played the game, ball retention is the name of the game and Messi has that in abundance. A low centre of gravity twinned with lightning agility makes marking or tackling him an envious task.
On the other hand Ronaldo may not have been born with as much natural talent as Messi, but has instead compensated that by outworking every single other player to squeeze every ounce of talent and ability he can from his body. 36 years of age he is now in arguably the best shape of his life and it is this care and dedication to the sport which has enabled Ronaldo to be where he is today.
Lionel Messi leads this race with a record breaking 6, Ronaldo is just behind on 5. The two have dominated the award for years and it is no surprise when you look at the stats they produce year after year.
Mind blowing figures made even better when you look at the consistency produced by both. Ronaldo scoring two more goals but also featuring in two more seasons to date. Literally nothing to seperate the two on this one when factoring in the fact Ronaldo has managed to do this at multiple clubs in numerous countries leagues.
How do you seperate two of the biggest names in football in terms of their star power? Lets first take a look at the shirt sales figures…
Well looking back to last yeasr Messi’s Barcelona Shirt was the Most Sold Worldwide with Cristiano Ronaldo being 2nd. This years figures could be bigger than ever with Messi moving to PSG, tapping into a brand new market for merchandise. Whilst Ronaldo flirted with the blue half of Manchester has now decided to move back to where his journey really started, United. (Credit: eflm.eu)
On top of sales figures you have to look at how much Messi has provided for Barcelona, as much as it could be argued that for the last 16 years his star power and draw is bigger than the club, in essence he was the club. This is a statement that could not be used for any other player, including Ronaldo.
The argument of who is better is one that will roll on for years and years and ironically it could be these final years of their respective careers which ultimately seperates them.
Will Messi rue the decision to join a PSG side with even less competition than Barcelona, in a league just overtaken by the Primeira Liga. Ronaldo on the other hand is leaving the slower paced Italian football to return to Manchester United, and rejoin extremely unforgiving Premier league. Can he still do it as the new Ronaldo or should he have stayed put? Only time will tell….