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Lionel Messi V Cristiano Ronaldo – Who Is the Greatest?
Last night saw another epic El Classico where Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo continued their ongoing battle for World supremacy. Barcelona and Real Madrid played out a 2-2 draw with Ronaldo and his arch nemesis Messi scoring all the goals. These two players take the art of a footballer to whole new levels, but although there is no denying that they are the outstanding talents of their generation, and perhaps ever, the ongoing question is ‘who of the two is the greatest?’ ‘ Although there is no final correct answer to this, the common opinion over the last few years is that Messi is the King and Ronaldo the very talented Prince. However, the gap between the magical Argentine and the Portuguese adonis seems to be closing, with some feeling that Ronaldo now deserves the ‘World’s Best Player’ crown.
Although he often plays just behind the main striker, Messi seems to be able to score from anywhere and everywhere. Last season, aged just 24, he became Barcelona’s all-time top scorer. In addition to that he broke the 39 year old record set by my senior German striker Gerd Muller for most goals in a single European season. Amazingly, Ronaldo has managed a similar record to Messi and their overall ‘goals to games’ ratio since 2009 is almost identical. Although he started his career as a winger, Ronaldo’s ‘eye for goal’ came to the fore under Alex Ferguson at Manchester United. His signature ‘dipping’ free kicks and individual goals prompted Real Madrid to break the World transfer record to bring the Old Trafford legend to the Bernabeu. Just as Messi can often be found collecting the ball in his own half, Ronaldo often drifts back in search of possession, and can also be found in wide positions tormenting’ the opposing left and right backs. Considering the fact that neither player is referred to as a ‘goal poacher’ their record is even more unbelievable.
In terms of awards, both team and individual, Messi is the clear winner at the moment. He has won the Ballon d’Or three years in a row (much to Ronaldo’s dismay!), and his La Liga and Champions League silverware outweighs Ronaldo’s.
In conclusion, it is clear that Lionel Messi and Cristano Ronaldo are head and shoulders above any other current players in World football and there are no signs that this will change anytime soon. Considering their relatively young age there is every possibility that they will go down as the two best players in the history of the sport. For all the achievements of Pele, Maradona, Eusebio etc, there is already a case to be made that Messi and Ronaldo have matched and surpassed them all. The fact that two such players were present in the same era, playing in the same league and at almost the same ages makes the comparison a little easier, so here we go…
At the moment, Lionel Messi is the ‘World’s Greatest Footballer’ with Cristiano Ronaldo a very close second. The fact that Lionel Messi has officially received this title three years in a row with the Ballon d’Or adds weight to the argument. That combined with minor points such as his superior assist record, the fact that he has consistently made more appearances than Ronaldo and that his overall team play is slightly better is currently eclipsing the Argentinian genius. In Ronaldo’s defense he is the faster/stronger physical specimen, has better heading ability and doesn’t have Xavi or Iniesta to connect with him, but this doesn’t quite level him – for now!!!
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