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Messi and Ronaldo, rivals in greatness

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Jonathan Stevenson | 14:23 UK time, Friday, 26 November 2010

If Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo wanted to lay down markers ahead of the Barcelona v Real Madrid showdown at the Camp Nou on Monday, scoring hat-tricks in their final La Liga games before El Clasico was a typically sublime way to go about it.

Messi and Ronaldo are the two best players on the planet right now. They play weekly at a level most can only dream of, consistently overshadowing the abundance of world-class players who line up as their team-mates and opponents alike.

They are the last two winners of the Fifa World Footballer of the Year award and, despite being far from stereotypical centre-forwards in a positional sense, have each won a European Golden Shoe prize in the last three years. They have scored 27 La Liga goals between them already this term - four more than the next top scorers in the division, Villarreal.

"What more can you say about Messi?" asked Barca colleague and Spain's World Cup-winning goalscorer Andres Iniesta in the aftermath of Messi's eighth treble for the Catalan club, in an 8-0 destruction of Almeria last weekend. "There are no words left. Let's hope he continues as he is."

After firing in three more goals in Real's 5-1 drubbing of Athletic Bilbao on the same day to stay one clear of his rival in the race for the Pichichi (Spain's top goalscorer), Ronaldo preferred to do his own talking: "I'm very happy for scoring three goals, but the important thing is that we continue being leaders. Barcelona's 8-0 win at Almeria doesn't tell me anything, Let's see if they score eight goals against us on Monday."

Messi and Ronaldo pit their explosive talents against each other in Barcelona on Monday

Messi and Ronaldo pit their explosive talents against each other in Barcelona on Monday

Monday is the day when Spain's top two meet for the first time this season, with Real Madrid a single point ahead of Barcelona in the standings. It is a game customarily filled with intrigue and the pre-match phoney war will be taken to new levels this time around with Barca's arch-nemesis Jose Mourinho overseeing his first Clasico in charge of Real.

But when the talking stops and referee Eduaro Gonzalez blows his whistle at 2000 GMT, the focus will then centre around Messi and Ronaldo - the two proxy leaders of their teams, the men who are almost certain to have the greatest impact on the result and, longer term, the destiny of the Spanish title.

So much has been written about them both before, these two fascinatingly contrary figures: Messi, the shy, formerly-fragile boy from Argentina who packed his bags aged 13 and put himself in Barcelona's care; and Ronaldo, the perma-tanned Portuguese with the perfect physique and arrogance to match his £80m attributes.

Perhaps it is because they are so unique, as far removed from each other as they are from the mere mortals who seek to attain their greatness, that they are so open to comparison. It is a point Noe Pamarot made to me when I asked the well-travelled Hercules defender to compare two players he has done battle with in La Liga in the past three months.

"The stats are amazing for both of them, it is incredible how many goals they score," said Pamarot, who also played against Ronaldo six times during a five-year spell in English football playing for Tottenham and Portsmouth.

"But they don't play anything like each other. They have both got the speed and the skills, but for me, Messi plays only for the team and that makes him a more dangerous opponent. He isn't always looking to score himself - if he isn't scoring, he is making an assist or having a big influence on the game anyway.

"They are comfortably the world's best right now. But Messi is very, very special. He is starting to prove weekly he is on a different level to everyone else. Can he be the greatest of all time? If he carries on like this for some more years, he can end up the same or even better than Diego Maradona and Pele. Why not?"

Pamarot's thoughts cast my mind back to a study of the pair conducted by the University of Coruna in Spain in April. It found that more than 80% of Barcelona's passing moves involved Messi, compared to 60% with Ronaldo and Madrid. When Messi gets the ball, his only thought is getting it into the back of his opponents' net; when Ronaldo picks it up, his is to put it there himself.

At a time when the fluid passing and movement style of Spain and Barcelona is fashionable and everyone wants to watch tiki-taka, Ronaldo's fearsome power and single-minded selfishness when he is within sight of goal is, to some, considered an inferior alternative, aesthetically-speaking anyway.

Another player who has been on the receiving end of the genius of Messi and Ronaldo is Ivory Coast midfielder Didier Zokora. The 29-year-old played against Ronaldo five times in his three-year stint with Spurs and was in the Sevilla team that suffered a 5-0 defeat at Barcelona a month ago in which Messi scored twice.

Zokora challenges Messi during a game in Seville in August. Photo: Getty Images

Zokora challenges Messi during a game in Seville in August. Photo: Getty Images

"The two of them are very good, for sure, but I prefer Messi," said Zokora. "Messi is perfect in the art of dribbling, while Ronaldo's shot is incredible. It is very difficult to stop them, they are very, very fast. Could one of them go on and be the greatest? It is difficult to say it, but maybe..."

For now, it is far easier to let the numbers do the talking. Courtesy of Infostrada Sports, here are the pair's breathtaking goal tallies in black and white:

Lionel Messi:
- 22 goals in 17 games for Barcelona this season
- 54 goals in 48 games for Barcelona in 2010
- Has scored in nine consecutive games for Barca
- In last five seasons (this season last), has scored: 17, 16, 38, 47, 22

Cristiano Ronaldo:
- 16 goals in 18 games for Real Madrid this season
- 38 goals in 42 games for Real Madrid in 2010
- Has scored 14 goals in 12 La Liga games this term
- In last five seasons (first three with Man Utd), has scored: 23, 42, 26, 33, 18

Chalk and cheese they may well be, but in the prolific way they find the net these men - who rarely play as out-and-out strikers - do at least have something in common. And according to the University of Coruna's study, that's not all. They also believe Messi and Ronaldo to be the two fastest players in the history of the game in terms of running with the ball.

So who do you pity more ahead of the game the whole footballing world will be watching, the Barcelona backline or the Real Madrid rearguard? I asked Pamarot who it is easier to play against, and he laughed down the telephone at me. "Haha. Seriously? OK, I want to play against both because they are the ultimate test of your abilities."

Plaudits from pundits and their peers have not been in short supply as the build-up to the most talked-about domestic fixture on Earth grows ever closer. "It is clear to me, Cristiano is number one," said Mourinho. After watching Barca and Messi rip apart his Panathinaikoas side in Europe on Wednesday, midfielder Luis Garcia purred: "Messi is a phenomenon. One can only enjoy his play. Such a player only comes by once in several decades."

Even the Spanish prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has got involved in the debate, claiming he prefers the "dribbles" of Messi to the playing style of Ronaldo, though his opinion should be taken with the caveat that the 50-year-old is a lifelong Barcelona fan.

On Monday, these two footballing phenomena go head-to-head before an expectant audience of about 98,000 people in Barcelona and tens of millions more on television around the world. They will both feel they have an extra point to prove, too: in seven games, Messi has never scored or had an assist against a Mourinho team; similarly in five, Ronaldo has never found the net against Barca.

With the likes of Maradona, Pele and Johan Cruyff all reaching the peak of their powers in different eras, perhaps we should be grateful that for this generation, the stars will collide in front of our very eyes.

There will be a live text commentary of Barcelona v Real Madrid on the BBC Sport website, starting at 1900 GMT on Monday.


Page 1 of 3

  • Comment number 1.

    I rate Ronaldo as a better individual player and Messi as a better team player, if I could choose either one of them to join my team I would have to go for Ronaldo.

  • Comment number 2.

    First post?

    Anyway, I will possibly watch some of the match out of curiosity rather than because I care about the result itself. The Spanish league is starting to resemble the SPL in terms of competitiveness. Also, the issue of finance in Spain and the lack of collective TV contracts deters from the idea of the league as a whole.

    Anyway, they are two players that really make you get out of your seat.

    Overall though, I can confidently say that not 'everyone wants to watch tika-taka' or whatever you want to call it. The ball spends alot of time just going to and fro and you can spend ages waiting for any sign of directness or movement to the goal. Spain's world cup triumph is impressive but their play less so.

  • Comment number 3.

    140 goals for messi compared to 142 for ronaldo in 5 years, amazing, these 2 are on another planet to everyone else, the ball sticks to messis feet like glue the guys balance on the ball is unmateched and ronaldo i admire for his ability to take the pressure of being the face of the galacticos and geeting evan better than he was at united

  • Comment number 4.

    Stevo, Messi for me. He hasn't scored against Mourinho because Mourinho defends always but with this Real Madrid team I hope Mourinho is bold enough to go for it. I tip Barca to win. 3-0

  • Comment number 5.


    I just feel that he can do more on his own, and could carry sides individually (like last season when numerous Real players didn't 'click'). To see the two in the same team would be a truly frightening prospect!

  • Comment number 6.

    Mr Blue Burns

    "Overall though, I can confidently say that not 'everyone wants to watch tika-taka' or whatever you want to call it. The ball spends alot of time just going to and fro and you can spend ages waiting for any sign of directness or movement to the goal. Spain's world cup triumph is impressive but their play less so."

    get a grip man . . . this is how football should be played, keeping the ball and not giving posession to your opponent. If the other team dont ahve the ball they cant hurt you.

    messi for me is a role model as well as a better footballer

    Spain are European & World Champions so there football cant be wrong can it?????

  • Comment number 7.

    #6 RealisticRichard

    Well, it's the classic 'in the eye of the beholder' but I know a number of people who agree with me. And it's not that we don't understand the value of possession it's just that we like to see something more done with it at times.

  • Comment number 8.

    It's kinda hard to pick but I'll say Messi is a just a shade above Cristiano Ronaldo. However Real Madrid with Jose Mourinho might carry the day. Messi is yet to get an assist let alone an assist against a Mourinho-led team but that can also change on Monday.

  • Comment number 9.

    What's most interesting about these two is not their complete dominance of club football, but their combined lack of penetration and consistency for the countries.

    Now I appreciate that both have played under dubious managers ( maradonna and Quieroz) but the last truly great footballer was Zizou, as his record and effort for both club and country is bullet proof.

    Maybe it's a measure of how much the appeal of international has dwindled for top players, with travel ( more so for Messi). But as stated on numerous occassions, Ronaldo is the all about "numero uno" at the monent, but I can't wait to see him in five yeara time when the pace has gone out of his game and he moves into a more central role like Zizou or kaka.....

    In my opinion, it's Messi world and we are all just living in it.

  • Comment number 10.

    both these players are brilliant , definetly the maradona or pele of there time , maybe even better . The amount of goals they score is amazing . Especially when you consider the other teams take special care to mark them . You see ronaldo have 3 men marking him and yet he still pulls something out the bag. We are lucky there are 2 such great players playing at the same time.

  • Comment number 11.

    Messi relies heavily on the one two's and creativity that a central striker, xavi and iniesta provide. Each of these tend to score a lot less than they should. Villa has scored a lot less than he has in previous seasons, whereas I doubt if any Barca midfield player has hit close to double figures in a while.

    Ronaldo plays in a team where goals will come mainly from him and Higuain. However it is likely Di Maria, Alonso, Oezil and others will score quite frequently too.

    If you cut off the supply line to Messi, he starts to struggle. This is evident with his ratio of goals for Argentina, and the fact he had a World Cup where Tevez and Higuain were recognised goalscorers in the same team.

    Ronaldo can do it all himself, if he played for Barca, I fear he'd score even more goals

  • Comment number 12.

    Has to be Messi for me, much more of a team player, and he's 2 years younger

  • Comment number 13.

    For them to be regarded as the greatest ever they need to win the world cup. Without such an acolade they can never be seen as on par with Maradona, who single handedly won the world cup in '86; and pele, whos 3 world cup wins set him apart from any other. This is why cryuff is often not seen as the same light as the previous two because he never won the world cup.
    But given the choice between the two i would have to go for Messi, what he brings to the time is superior to Ronaldo.

  • Comment number 14.

    By far the best players in the world, nobody else comes close. Messi has the edge for me, slightly more technical and it seems the ball is glued to his feet when dribbling. Ronaldo uses his athleticsm more he is all about pace and power and is so direct.

    Both amazing, miss Ronaldo at OT but Messi just ahead at the moment!

  • Comment number 15.

    In my opinion, Ronaldo is the better of the two players, I think he is currently experiencing his best season yet Although when just looking at natural ability it has to be Messi.

  • Comment number 16.

    I didn't know there was still a rivalry!!!Head to head record of 4 - 0 is what i will not call a rivalry for sure !!!I would rather have one messi in my team that having 10 Ronaldo...why ? Simple Messi is better in every department except sulking/show off and greediness

  • Comment number 17.

    For me ...... Tevez is better than Messi and Ronaldo combined ...... he defends, he creates n he scores n he never gives up!!!

    Only Maradona cud possibly have a better work rate than Tevez

  • Comment number 18.

    Messi has the lower cenntre of gravity which makes it easier to stay on his feet and ride tackles. Ronaldo is taller therefore is better in the air and is better at free kicks, depends what is more important to the particular team they are playing.

    I think Ronaldo is becoming a better team player under Mourinho and looks to pick out team mates better than Di Maria who consistently ignores players making overlapping runs to cut inside.

  • Comment number 19.

    I prefer Ronaldo over Messi.Ronaldo is an all round player

  • Comment number 20.

    I think tomefccam made a very valid point. Barcelona have been playing the best football in the world now for the last 2/3 years, arguably more. Messi has had the likes of iniesta and xavi perhaps the next best two players in the world threading him through all day long for years now.

    Ive watched this Real Madrid team week in week out this season and Mourihno is truly building something special. after 6 monthes when this team has gelled and ozil and ronaldo have made a link I they will be just as potent as Barce. I strongly remember how devestating just rooney and ronaldo were at Man U, and suggestions that Ronaldo does not get many assists is ludicrous!

    For the game on sunday I have to back Mourihno ahead of both, so Ronaldo will come out on top!

  • Comment number 21.

    If you look closely you will find that Cristiano Ronaldo is simply a great athlete. He can move faster and shoot the ball harder than others. The great majority of his goals come from raw speed and power, and it's rare to see anything he does as particularly beautiful, creative, or intelligent.

    Messi has unbelievable quicks and unsurpassed change of direction, but he is also a very accomplished player with great vision and a feel for the game, and he often shows you something amazing. He finds ways to get himself or the ball in and through spaces no one else would even think of, much less attempt.

    In truth there is no rival for the artist, the genius, and the "phenomenon" -- Messi.

  • Comment number 22.

    For me Messi is the better player to watch but if I had to choose it would be Ronaldo. Simply because I think it comes down to aerial threat, Both can get you goals from anywhere but one is not expecting Messi to jump high enough to nod in any corners, not making him a threat in all areas of the pitch. Yet, Ronaldo, as we saw in his United days is a threat everywhere and can actually be a real asset from corners/crosses etc

  • Comment number 23.

    Messi every time. He scores as many goals as Ronaldo, AND he's a team player.

    He's also a far better role-model - you don't see much in the way of tantrums, sulks and diving from Messi.

  • Comment number 24.

    El Clasico will not be decided by either of them, but the midfield battle. The star performer in most of the previous occasions has been Xavi.

  • Comment number 25.

    Oh, and anyone criticising Messi's performance for Argentina should bear in mind Maradona's totally inept tactics.

    There's another factor to consider too. Messi always delivers on the big occasions - not so Ronaldo, whose performances against lesser opposition are often sublime but he has often faded out in the big games (like Portugal vs Spain in the World Cup, and Utd versus Barca in the Champions League).

  • Comment number 26.

    I think the comments about Ronaldo not being a team player on the pitch are a bit wide of the mark. Watching RM this year, he often sets up team mates and is involved in most of their dangerous moves. Frankly if he didn't, I doubt Mourinho would tolerate it.

    Having said that, and I say this with the greatest of respect for what he did for Manchester United, he's a difficult guy to like even when he's in your team and not the opposition. He plays for the foul constantly (whereas someone like Messi only does very occasionally) and his demeanour goes beyond confidence to arrogance. I don't really think there's much to separate them as the outstanding players of their generation, or for moments of brilliance. But Messi is very likable and Ronaldo, not so much. And I think in the locker room over the years, players and managers will grow very tired of Ronaldo's arrogance whereas I think Messi will continue to be a great. So from that perspective, I think time will favour Messi.

  • Comment number 27.

    Despite all the attention on Messi and Ronaldo it wouldn't suprise me if a perfomance from another player or players decides the game e.g.s Iniesta, Xavi, Higuain, Ozil, Di Maria etc. If I was a defender on either team I'd be feeling just a little nervous!

  • Comment number 28.

    In my opinion, Id choose Ronaldo over Messi in my team ANY day of the week, he is superb at almost every aspect of the game, Messi on the other hand, is exceptional at a few aspects, ones that make him a more entertaining player to watch, which is why people seem to think he is by far better the Ronaldo.
    I guess we will see who can handle the big matches on Monday, of the two. I want Ronaldo to prevail.. although I believe Xabi Alonso will run the show

  • Comment number 29.

    diggsgiggs i was writing the exact same comment!

    whats this nonsense about ronaldo not a team player

    its garbage

    i love watching ronaldo play. he was a big loss to the premier league

    lets be fair, he ran the show over here in his last 3 seasons

    would messi do aswell over here as he is doing in la liga. hmmm, its up for debate

    i just prefer watching ronaldo as i got used to watching him week in week out in the premier league from a good player into a great one

    havent seen much of messi i must confess apart from his demolition of arsenal in cl last year and a few times in the world cup

    he is good no doubt but me personally, id have ronaldo in my team anyday.

    but hey its just opinions.

  • Comment number 30.

    Ronaldo - he has it all. Power, pace, skill, hight, heading ability, quick feet, can score with both. No player like him. Just unreal.

    Messi is a different kind of player... great feet. Silky smooth - but if you are looking for a player to carry a team I feel that Ronaldo has a better impact - put him in any team in the world and he will still be the same unstoppable player.

  • Comment number 31.

    The Kuz i totally agree, i was trying to explain that in my post but couldnt put it aswell as you did.

    Ronaldo just has everything on the football pitch.

  • Comment number 32.

    Goddamn, why didn't Barce sign Ronaldo instead of that oaf ibrahamavic!

  • Comment number 33.

    As much as I dislike Ronaldo as a person I definitely prefer his style of play over Messi's. Give me raw pace, power and a great shot over skills and dribbling any day.

  • Comment number 34.

    I agree with Jonathan: we're lucky to see these two monsters playing at the same time. Not since the Beckenbauer-Cruijff (Bayern-Ajax) era that we have this kind of rivalry to be the best in the world. That said, and you can call me crazy, but I'd also put Ibrahimovic, Xavi, and Eto'o on a short list for the best footballer on the planet. Ronaldo and Messi are doing better right now but the season is still young. And, as for 2010 (January through December), Xavi has an advantage as far as titles.

  • Comment number 35.

    mr gloryof96

    tevez is not even on the same planet as messi or ronaldo. ji sung park works harder than he does. tevez is an overrated selfish player. while he's running around like a headless chicken after the ball, it doesnt mean that he's doing it for the team

  • Comment number 36.

    mr gloryof96, wow that has to be the worst comment i've ever read in my entire life regarding football.

    Tevez was not even worth £20m let alone £25m and i'm glad Fergie didn't pay up, from your statement I can conclude you know nothing about football.

    Ronaldo and Messi play on a level so far ahead of judas it's not even funny.

  • Comment number 37.

    Messi is streets ahead of ronaldo, anyone that says otherwise is either english or blind.

    He scores 4 goals against arsenal in the latter stages of the champions league, ronaldo scores 4 against malaga.

    Plus barca have 2 other players in Xavi and iniesta who are better then ronaldo.

    3 nil barca

  • Comment number 38.

    MESSI by a long way= better all round player accuracy majestic dribbling nd works for the team
    RONALDO- Bare tekkers but isn't a team player

  • Comment number 39.

    I can't wait for the derby. I'm a Real supporter, and on the whole have to respect what Mourinho has done for the club; that is, to instill a bit of bite. I've been here since Beckham moved over here and Real have only really disappointed since, whereas Barca have done nothing but improve (congrats to Guardiola). Truthfully, in my humble opinion, it should be one of the best (in terms of competitiveness) derbies I have seen since moving here.
    Come on Real!

  • Comment number 40.

    In context goals scoring easier in spanish competition, a vast difference between top and the rest
    Bit too predictable, unlike in Germany, Italy or France

  • Comment number 41.

    Interesting and pretty close statistic. As per the number of goals scored in the past 5 seasons shown above, Ronaldo's tally is 142, while Messi's is 140.
    And if I had to choose one of them, I would pick Messi because he is simply a team player. Though I believe Ronaldo is a more complete player, he showboats quite a lot, which increases his ego exponentially when he tastes success which involves him quite a lot. Also, Messi scoring 47 goals last season is simply a shocking statistic. Also, in between the first quarter of this season and half of this season, Messi has scored almost half of those 47 goals. So if he is consistent or better, he will score atleast 58.6 goals this season. So just WOW.

    Wonder if ManCity are digging deep into their pockets for those £250 million.

  • Comment number 42.

    Both are outstanding, but Ronaldo has proven himself in two leauges. I have a feeling that Messi might not be the same in the PL as he in La Liga.

  • Comment number 43.

    #34 AntonioSaucedo
    Well said, I honestly believe after seeing him week in week out that Xavi is probably the best footballer i've seen. However, I must admit I do admire a footballing brain more than an individual. As for the others, they all have their attributes. The problem we have is that we are trying to not only compare players of the modern era against each other, in different leagues of different standards, but against players of different eras who had to cope with playing football with footballs like medicine balls...just cast a thought for poor Jeff Astley. IT IS IMPOSSIBLE to compare between footballers of different eras and different leagues. Fifa try with their league coefficient, but it really doesn't work as it should. For example, could Dixie Dean score 59/60 goals now? Could Pele really score over 1000 goals in his carreer if he'd played them all in the EPL? All football stats are objective, but the debate is what makes the gane so interesting.

  • Comment number 44.

    Messi is incomparable in my opinion. The best player in the last 25 years and still only 23 (just). Name anyone better! Unbelievable skill and awareness. Ronaldo is very powerful and direct( and greedy), but nowhere near the level of Messi. I'd go as far as to say that in the English league Thierry Henry was a better player than Ronaldo was at Man Utd. Messi plays with Xavi and Iniesta and is regarded as the main man. Says it all really. Genius.

  • Comment number 45.


    The best player in the last 25 years.Name anyone better!


  • Comment number 46.


    Bravo! Hes truly was the greatest. Messi may ovetake him one day...but not today

  • Comment number 47.

    I loved watching Zidane and I agree he was brilliant. But I think Messi can do what Zidane did and more. Scoring goals by dribbling past 4, 5 players from the halfway line etc, as well as his eye for a pass and incredible technique and balance.

  • Comment number 48.

    I've said on several other blogs that Ronaldo and Messi are both players who, in 20 years time, have the potential to rival Maradona and Pele as "the greatest ever". No-one else in the game currently comes close. Xavi and Iniesta are magnificent players, but in the final reckoning, 99 times out of 100, rightly or wrongly, its the goalscorers who get the credit.

    Messi is the slightly better dribbler, and seems a more likeable character, but Ronaldo is stronger in the air and has a better strike. Both are completely unplayable on their day and neither seem to have many off days.

    Who do I think is better?

    I'll tell you in 20 years - and I'll probably still call it a draw!

  • Comment number 49.

    You journalists never learn. In the 09 Champions League final, a Barcelona midfield masterclass won the game, while an Ibrahimovic volley from an Alves cross gave Barcelona the win at the Camp Nou last season and a couple of excellent assists from Xavi won it again at the Bernabeu. (Granted Messi did score twice but he wasn't the deciding influence in any of the games).

    They're not rivals anyway. Messi is clearly no.1, a brilliant goalscorer capable of fantastic solo efforts and a team player with an excellent ability to keep possession and play creative passes to others. Ronaldo is in the category below with Xavi, Drogba, Eto'o and co.

  • Comment number 50.

    There is no doubt in anyones mind that they are bot the best players in the last 3 years and it makes me laugh when people where mentioning rooney to be up there with these two. If i had to choose one i would chosse ronaldo..why?
    Who else in the world is 6 foot plus(heading ability),fast as a buggati(lol), as fit as a butchers dog, uses both feet with ease, can play anywhere in attack(LM,RM,AM,CF),is extreamly skillfull on the ball,is a great free kick+penalty kick taker??
    I think you will find that he is the only one who fits the bill.

    The most impressive thing about him is his versatility...if real madrid need a guy to play upfront and hold the ball with his back to goal and win headers/flick ons they have that man already so they dont need to go out there and buy a crouch or llorente.......can messi do that for barca?? I think you all know the answer.


  • Comment number 51.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 52.


  • Comment number 53.

    Ronaldo for me.

    I dont buy into this nonsense about how ronaldo is not a nice guy and how he's a big big baddie and how ronaldo is a big meanie not passing the ball to anyone and how messi is a much nicer guy and how messi smiles 24/7. Who gives a monkeys about that immaterial garbage

    As the above poster said, ronaldo is the most complete and versatile player out there. Im pretty sure he wouldnt look out of place in a defensive back line if it had to be done.

  • Comment number 54.

    3rd post this has riled me so much

    How on earth can you compare Messi with ronaldo?? Ronaldo is a rabbit slayer and always has been. Hes a robinho who scores more goals. You can waffle on about the heading/dribbling/holding ball up all you want, its what they do that wins games that matter, and messi is in a league with 2 others, xavi and iniesta. These 3 between them make world class sides go utterly loco and adapt the way they play, sides who adapt for nobody else.

    Ronaldo, whilst fantatsic, doesnt produce on the big stage at all never mind infrequently. Real madrid needed a goal in 2 classico's where was he? last 16 of champs league last year? Ronalso posted missing.

    Like I say, iniesta/xavi/messi axis is what its all about. No good in the air, dont win too many 50/50's....just utterly dominate world class teams form start to finish

    Infact, and I have have seen every real game this year, id say its ozil they should be worried about. He doenst seem to have the MIA traits ronaldo does and is technically superior, albiet minus the high rate of goals

  • Comment number 55.

    19. At 5:16pm on 26 Nov 2010, kojoben wrote:

    I prefer Ronaldo over Messi.Ronaldo is an all round player

    All round himself, yes.

    I prefer Messi and would always prefer to watch him over Ronaldo, but character has a lot to do with that. And I have yet to see him fall over the ball trying to do some clever blind-rollover-dummy-backheel.

    Ultimately though, I believe they are technically inseparable. Messi's one caveat however is that he hasn't yet proved himself in a different league. And if he never does, close to his prime, that question mark will remain with him.

  • Comment number 56.

    I think Ozil is slowly becoming a better a player than Ronaldo. Ronaldo got shut down by an 18 year old Santon and a converted right back in Abate, meaning, he's all tricks and showboating, put a man on him, and he's done. Mess on the other hand, ,maybe an inferior aerial ability, but will run circles around anyone, causing havoc.

  • Comment number 57.

    Both Messi and C. Ronaldo are fantastic players and the best at the moment but if football is about team play them Messi is better than C. Ronaldo. This is why in all the matches both players have met, in ManU and Madrid last season Messi was outstanding while C. Ronaldo simply was a disappointment. I see Barca winning Madrid especially if madrid will come out to attack, better for Barca.

  • Comment number 58.

    well i prefer Ronaldo than Mess any time any day and i know he will surprise barclona on monday. i trust him i know what he can do in such the end Mardird will come out with a win.but i still recpect Barclona they have a good team there. but like i said Mardird will still come out on top

  • Comment number 59.

    I don't buy into conjecture suggesting ronaldo being a better overall player and athlete than messi.
    Due to messi's lower center of gravity, he can more easily withstand challenges, accelerates faster, and dribbles a lot better. ronaldo's heading and free kicks are his only distinction (as well as his diving).

    In fact, I'll go as far as to state that messi's a better finisher and more clinical; have you seen the number of times he dribbles the ball in from the sideline or halfway line to 25 yards out from the opposition's goal and effortlessly curls in a finish to the top corner. simply breathtaking.

  • Comment number 60.

    The best player in the last 25 years.Name anyone better!


    How about Maradona? He must be the best player ever, won the scudetto for Napolito for the first time ever and won Argentina the WC in 86. No way that Pele or Messi would have won the scudetto for Napoli.

  • Comment number 61.

    The 2 best players in the world by far. Who is better? I think it comes down to personal preference. Both would walk into any team in the world and both can resolve games on there own. Messi has had the best midfield in the world helping him to greatness, while Ronaldo has proven himself in 2 leagues with inferior teams (Than Barca). Messi can do things that no one else can do. Ronaldo has a single mindedness that no one else can match. Messi's left foot is a work of art, Ronaldo's power and shooting is something to behold.

    Its Art vs Science. It comes down to what you like more.

  • Comment number 62.

    Stevo! Now I know what you look like!
    (No real surprises - just like I imagined from your commentaries ;-))

    By the way, I admit it, 'twas I who bust Obama's lip.

  • Comment number 63.

    like i said before...ronaldo is the most complete player.Hands down!!

  • Comment number 64.

    To be fair, accusations that Ronaldo is not as much a team player as Messi seem slightly exaggerated. I'm guessing this is because Messi is perceived to link up with the rest of his teammates better (i.e Xavi, Iniesta and Alves) compared to Ronaldo who is seen to go it alone. At Man United however the quartet up front in the 07/08 season however helped show Ronaldo at his absolute best, the movement, creativity and potency of Rooney, Ronaldo, Tevez and Giggs showed that the portuguese winger can most definitely play as part of a team. It is this form that he is currently showing at Madrid where his skill and ability are once more to the fore of all team moves in which he links brillianty with Higuain, Özil and Alonso.

  • Comment number 65.

    Both outstanding players and the best two in the world, BUT there is still way too much hype surrounding them.
    They both play in "dream" teams at their clubs, surrounded by players that even the most ardent Utd, Chelsea, Bayern, AC Milan, Inter etc. fans would have to admit are better than they've currently got.
    Neither has performed to a great standard in any significant international match and it's not as if they play for minnow nations either.
    Ronaldo was great at Utd and many thought they'd suffer massively without him, well they're not as good, but they still compete with the best and Messi has never even known anything other than Barca.
    They've both been outstanding for a few years, but wait until they've done it at this level for a decade and done it for their country too, before comparing them with Pele or Maradona who performed at this level for 15+ years each.
    ...and while they are currently the best, are they really massively better than Sneijder, Schweinsteiger, Xavi, Kaká (if he ever returns to full fitness), Iniesta, Gerrard, Essien, Robben, Villa?

  • Comment number 66.

    Literally, the only reason people are saying Ronaldo is a better all round player is because he's better in the air. That's literally it. Name one other thing he's better at. Messi is on a completely different level to Ronaldo and will prove so on Monday night. He retains the ball better, has vision for a pass Ronaldo could only dream of, has better close control than Ronaldo, his movement off the ball is better than Ronaldo, a better first touch, better decision making, a quicker football brain, commits players more than Ronaldo, assists many, many more goals than Ronaldo, and perhaps most importantly, performs in the big games. I'm not saying Ronaldo isn't a great player, but he relies heavily on his physical attributes, as many of his goals are similar in the way he breaks forward into the area for a simple finish. Messi is capable of the spectacular. Basically, the things Ronaldo could do with a football, messi could do with an orange.

  • Comment number 67.

    We are here comparing these two players progression for the past 5 years.

    I go with Ronaldo on top then. Both players have incredible individual skills, passing technique (I rate messi slightly on top for team work and passing)and there composure in front of goal is frightening. Ronaldo has something that messi is no way near to match and that's scoring free kicks.

    Also, let's not forget that Ronaldo has played in Manchester United and Real Madrid in the past 5 year, Messi only has played in Barcelona. This comparison would only be fare if Messi had moved out of Barca (would he ever??) and shine in another club, with a different game play, attitude, etc...
    Would Messi be able to score has many goals or shine in a club that doesn't play Tika Taka style? Would be very interested to see.

    Moving from a big clubs to Real isn't the easiest thing either. A lot of top players failed to shine in Madrid. I believe that Ronaldo's team play slackness will change under Morinho's management and that by the end of this season, there will be no confusion on who's the best.

    Barco V Real - 0-1
    The game sound's too good to be through with both teams playing beautiful attacking football but this sort of games can either go all good for one team (4-0 type) or quite the opposite. As this first "Classico" is played at the Camp Nou, I'd go with the opposite option for this game.

  • Comment number 68.

    I literally have never heard so much twaddle in all my life. The amount of people who rate Ronaldo just because he has played in the EPL is ridiculous... there was even one guy who said that he hadn't seen much of Messi but that he still rated Ronaldo as the better player... "cos he played over here". Well duh... if you haven't seen someone play, how on earth are you qualified to comment!!!

    I watch a LOT of football, including ALL Barca and Real Madrid games over the last few years and I can safely say that Messi is head and shoulders above Ronaldo. This isn't because Messi is a nicer guy (he is), it isn't because he plays more for the team (he does) it's because his technical ability is superior in every way to Ronaldo's. He has also never been found wanting or disappeared in the truly big club games (CL final, EVERY clasico since Ronaldo arrived in spain).

    As for their goal records, again Messi is superior. People talk about Ronaldo's record (which is excellent) but don't compare him to Messi... I have one word for you: PENALTIES. Messi doesn't take them, Ronaldo does (heaven forbid another team mate takes one). Remove penalties from his stats and Ronaldo's figures just don't compare.

  • Comment number 69.

    Messi remains the greatest player ever that graced the game of football...He's a blessing to entertainment juxtaposed with success...He's the best....Ronaldo on the other hand, is a wonderful player but lacks humility and that's one of the many areas that Messi has an upper edge..

  • Comment number 70.

    There seems to be some serious bias against Ronaldo here...Anyone saying hes not a team player, clearly doesn't watch him play enough or is so biased that their blinded by it. Sure he has some attitude problems, but who doesn't? Don't forget that he is playing for Mourinho now so there is going to be no nonsense. In the last 5 years he has scored 2 more then Messi, and yes, many of them have been in very big games. Does anyone remember him demolishing Arsenal, Porto, scoring against Chelsea in the champions league final...and so on??

    If you are going to talk about technical ability or skills then it is easy to list out. Messi has a great eye for goal, has incomparable dribbling skills (in today's game), and plays well with his team.

    Ronaldo can score from anywhere with BOTH his left and right feet, unmatched free kick taker, extremely dangerous aerial threat, and can be played in a number of positions.

    Honestly, i think Ronaldo can do a few more things better than Messi (which i have listed), but that doesn't say hes so much more effective because hes only 2 goals ahead of Messi in 5 years. But if you as a coach wanted an attacking player that can play anywhere, has amazing positional sense, take free kicks, score headers, and any type of goal - then it has to be Ronaldo.

    Honestly though, there is not much between them - 2 goals.

  • Comment number 71.

    Both are greats in the's just a pleasure to see two players way ahead of anyone else battle it out, rather than just talking about one star.

  • Comment number 72.

    Both are excellent football players
    But I prefer Ronaldo to Messi
    Now for the the massive match on Monday, I think Real Madrid will win
    Predicted score 5-4 for Real Madrid
    Both Ronaldo and Messi to score a hatrick

  • Comment number 73.

    To say either is better than the other, is merely putting the other down!

  • Comment number 74.

    Ronaldos work rate is contagious and helps bring all the team up a notch.Messi needs his team mates around him to work properly but Barca. have so much talent.I don't think you can say one player is better than the other as they are very different.Barcelona to win as they can play blindfold after so long together.

  • Comment number 75.

    Stuff that differentiates Messi from the rest of the pretenders is the quality of goals that he scores Week IN and Week OUT, pretenders are good in tap-ins...Most of Messi goals are out of the ordinary or shall I say MASTERPIECES. To those who say he can only score with supply of Xavi and Inestia, well take a look at his goal against Brazil last week......

  • Comment number 76.

    There you have two world's most expensively assembled teams. With Real's previous hapless managers, Barcelona had te edge, but just so. Mourinho is a completely different proposition, and with new signings Real must have just about edged Barcelona. My prediction for el classico : 0:2 to Real. Their firepower upfront cant be matched by any other club.
    With all the hype about barcelona let's not forget that they have been dismantled by much humbler Chelsea in CL 2009 (and only some outrageous refereeing helped them get escape a beating and manage 2 draws). Also, in 2010 they have been destroyed by small Inter (managed by guess who - mourinho!) and also humiliated by unknown minnow team Rubin Kazan at... Nou Camp!!! Surely, most overrated team in the world!?

  • Comment number 77.

    It is absolute nonsense that you have to win the world cup to be the greatest, if a player from a smaller country who have no prospect of winning the WC is more talented and performs better than a player like Roque Junior or Kleberson who won the WC despite being useless, how does that make them less great just because of their birthplace?
    Ferenc Puskas never won the world cup, Di Stefano never even played in the finals, yet me and thousands of other people would put them on the same level as Maradona and Pele without doubt, personally I would put them above Pele as they scored their club goals in leagues more competitive than the Brazilian.

    As for Messi vs Ronaldo? I'd have to go for Messi, people berated him for not scoring from distance, not heading and not scoring freekicks when compared to C Ron, now he has done all of those including a header in a CL final. Just has that bit more magic to more than make up for Ronaldos physical advantage.

  • Comment number 78.

    Oh and to 76, humbler Chelsea? Yeah I suppose Essien, Lampard, Terry, Carvalho, Drogba, Malouda, Ballack, Cech, Cole and Anelka are all pathetic players next to either Madrid or Barcas...
    Or Inter, those minnows with useless people like Sneijder, Eto'o, Milito, Lucio, Samuel, Maicon, Zanetti, Cesar... What an awful team..

  • Comment number 79.

    I am just so glad the mourinho has been overshadowed by Messi and Ronaldo during the buildup to the game. mourinho loves to be centre of attention but sadly this time it is the players that people are talking about. Mourindho v Guardiola is a subplot in the background. Everyone is talking about messi and ronaldo.

    Also i would like to add that no matter how good messi and ronaldo are today they will NEVER be considered the greatest of all-time if they do not win a "World cup". I beleive Messi is the best player in the world today but he will have to have a super world cup to be considered a legend. Players like Maradona, Zidane, Ronaldo (brazilian) are known for worldcups which sets them apart.

  • Comment number 80.

    everyone saying Ronaldo is better than Messi needs to learn. In the 2008/2009 champions league final, Messi clearly won the battle, scorig a header in the process. What about last years el clasicos. Messi scored once in two games compared to Ronaldo's... 0. But overall, I think it is unfair to say Messi is a better team player. After what I've seen, both are pretty selfish.
    My thoughts are that Barca will win the game, but all down to Xavi, Iniesta and Dani Alves.
    Also, I don't think Ronaldo or Messi are the best. It's far too easy to say that.
    Tons of players don't get the credit they deserve. EG Robben, Sneijder, Xavi Iniesta, Ozil, Alonso. I personally think the world player of the year should go to Xavi. He's 30, and he is the reason Messi scores so much. If Iniesta or Xavi weren't at Barca, Messi would have real problems.
    Oh, and lets not forget Villa, who I bet will be a real threat to real's defence. He will score one one Monday.

  • Comment number 81.

    @ 77 Were Ngoging to Ibiza
    Ronaldo and Messi both play for decent nations; certainly not minnows; who do qualify for the WC and continental championships, if neither player performs to any decent level in those championships then you do have to wonder if they're overhyped.

    ...and to claim that any league was more competitive than any other, in the days before regular transfers between nations, is simply dumb, the Brazilian league might be a shadow of La Liga, Serie A or the PL nowadays, but when Pele played only a handful of players ever left their own leagues, so the Brazilian league was probably stronger than any other at the time, they were EASILY the strongest nation afterall.

  • Comment number 82.

    Messi is just out of this world in terms of ability. Ronaldo is exceptional but it's unfair to compare him to Messi. Messi can do things you can't dream off, take the ball from the half way line, beat the whole team and slide it into the net. When has Ronaldo ever done this? He is more of a poacher, and for all his step overs and moaning, he's not that good at beating a man. Honestly, he's not.

  • Comment number 83.

    Trying separate these two is nearly impossible. Each one is has their strengths and weaknesses, although the weaknesses are on one hand in each players case.

    They are both wrestling to become number 1 and not in my life (34yrs) do I remember seeing two players who are so far ahead of the rest.

    Being asked to choose one over the other is a bit like deciding should you take the Ferrari or the Lambo, ask me each day and you'll get a different answer.

    Messi's number 1 attribute is his close control. I have never seen anyone and I mean anyone who can run with a ball like him. It is like something from an 80s video game. He also fits into a team blessed with players who are on the same wavelength as the 'flea'.

    Ronaldo's number 1 attribute is his power in my book. He is an out and out athlete, a beast! Power in shooting and power in his running and power in his heading. I disagree with those who say he is not a team player, at Man U if he wasn't scoring he was crossing or laying them up. His role at Real simply differs... number 7 to the number 9.

    Ronaldo is the more adaptable of the two positionally and has perhaps the more all round game. Messi is the one who will make you want to rewind the live match and actually discover "how did he do that?".

    In ten years time we'll know who the best of the best was, as one of these two will eclipse Pele/Maradona in my opinion.

    Enjoy it while you can, we may never see their likes again...

  • Comment number 84.

    @81 the talk of Internationals wasnt really to do with the main argument about Messi and Ronaldo it was just adressing a point somebody had made, saying you HAVE to win the WC to be the greatest but I dont agree. Van Basten and Cruyff never won a World Cup and they are definitely as good as any of the others mentioned as "The Greatest."

    As for the second point I suppose you are right in that the Brazilian league overall was strong and it was still an incredible achievement but I still think the Real Madrids, Milans (both) and Benficas of the day were stronger than any of the Brazilian clubs in the late 50s and through the 60s as well as a lot of the other big teams.

    Oh and teams may not have had squads comprised nearly totally of foreigners but there were still plenty of transfers going on. Madrid, Juventus and others all signed foreigners through that period, Real in particular using it to dominate European football.

  • Comment number 85.

    Ronaldo is the best in the world.

    But Messi is not from this world....

    It has to be Messi!

  • Comment number 86.

    Who says messi never scores from penalties? Are you serious? Who takes barca's penalties?

  • Comment number 87.

    For Me, as Talented as Messi is, and as amazing a Ronaldo is. Both masters of the football in the 21st century.

    Their hype, abilities and skill could never match that of a one Carlton Palmer.

    The former Sheffield wednesday and Leeds united player must of had the skills, because he gained 18 caps for england and scored 1 goal!.

    The site of Carlton running full pelt with the ball bobbling 5 yards behind him, is something that Ronaldo and Messi need to work on in training. He preplexed opposition players as they never quite knew what he was about to do next, in fact his own teams mates and quite possibly Palmer himself never knew what move he was about to make next. But generally it resulted in a goal kick, thrown in or a foul and maybe a yellow card.

    Messi and Ronaldo have a long way to go before they can even begin to be in the same league as the mightly Carlton Palmer!.

  • Comment number 88.

    Hate to say it but I'd probably go for Ronaldo as well. Fact is Messi has played all his club football alongside the two players probably closest to challenging them for the b'allon dor, Xavi and Iniesta. Those are the two who are also the heartbeat of the World Cup winners and who in tandem make everyone playing infront of them look incredibly good. Away from them with Argentina Messi did not look nearly as good to me. While with Portugal Ronaldo looked his usual selfish but efficient bulldozing self (I know he didn't have a great world cup either, just saying his playing style doesn't seem to rely so much on those around him, probably a good and bad thing).

    For me Xavi should get the world player of the year award having won the WC and being the creator in chief of two different CL winning sides at Barca, both Ronaldinho and Deco then Messi and Iniesto have looked excellent but all have benefitted hugely from having Xavi alongside them. With injuries starting to take their toll on him this may be his last chance and I think he should get it.

  • Comment number 89.

    I can only really comment on Ronaldo as i've only seen Messi in the flesh twice (against Utd and he did very little). It was a joy to watch Ronaldo develop from a very naive and unproductive teenager, albeit very talented, into a footballing machine over the course of 8 yrs at OT.

    You get the old school fans wouldn't wouldnt dream of staying in shape, using hair gel or generally leaving the pub to get a tan who would just call him "a puffy foreigner". They are ignorant, uneducated and generally dont appreciate football as a an entertainment form. Having had a season ticket at Utd for 22yrs I can honestly say Ronaldo is the best player i've ever seen at my club in terms of ability. Yes he used to wind people up with his hissy fits and the odd tantrum but ask Fergie who is easier to manage off the pitch? Ronaldo or Rooney?

    Anyway, on topic, Messi is amazing, but i think if you put Ronaldo in a team like Accrington Stanley I think he'd be more of a threat than Messi. Messi comes alive when Xavi and Iniesta give him the ball - Ronaldo has more to his game in my honest opinion.

  • Comment number 90.

    No contest really. How people even compare the 2 I'll never know. It's so plain obvious that Messi is head and shoulders above everyone else. Thierry scored alot of goals for Arsenal, but he is nowhere near Messi qulity wise, neither is Ronaldo. Scoring plenty of goals is not enough to talk about the best players in thw world......

  • Comment number 91.

    and it's so funny when people say Messi didn't do enough for Argentina at the WC..... What exactly did Ronaldo do for Portugal? Messi had the most shots at goal but bad luck and good goalkeeping denid him a well deserved goal. Forget the goals, Messi was everywhere for Argentina and has a few assist, what did Ronaldo have?

  • Comment number 92.


    Your talking dribble. I assume you live in london and support millwall

    1: Barce are not 1st ro second in most expensive teams. Id bet they aint even in the top 10 for trnsfer fees paid.

    2: Firepower up front - Messi 47 goals - David villa and pedro who scored about 50 between them last year (and villa was in a weaker side).

    3: Barca werent lucky against chelsea, the best team won. Ref had a howler butr doenst cover the face barca dominated both games form start to finish. Even with 10 men they dominated chelsea. And the same against inter. Easy to forget Milito's goal was offside in the first leg and that barca missed a good few chances (bloody ibra!)

  • Comment number 93.

    Barcelona vs Real Madrid at neu camp

  • Comment number 94.

    True greats such as Pele, Maradona and Zidane have the ability to drag their teams to greatness, i.e. winning world cups. When Maradona and Zidane retired, their nations ceased to challlenge for major championships.

    Messi, in a world class Argentine team which can barely make an impact in the WC, the same with Ronaldo, although he does not have the same supporting cast.

    So to be regarded as all time greats is a bit hasty. Messi is in a team that has millions pumped into it to support him, and Real? They have spent the nations defense budget on attacking players.

  • Comment number 95.

    I'm better than both of them.

    I didn't say at football.

  • Comment number 96.

    anyone who actually says they believe Ronaldo to be better is lying.

    Lets be honest, this debate has been put to bed by Messi. There is no good argument for saying Ronaldo is superior, unless its because you're a Utd, Madrid or Portugal fan.

    Hes got an impressive tally, but hes bagged 9 penalties more than Messi since he moved to madrid. His goals are of a lower quality, many tap ins from close in, he doesnt get as many assists.

    The professionals will also Messi, the ronaldo fan boys will ofcourse say ronaldo

  • Comment number 97.

    First of all Ronaldo is not a team player. The team is built around him, but there is nothing wrong with that when one considers his ability to win games by himself (at least against the smaller teams). However I happen to prefer the passing link up play used by Barcelona. In Barca's 4-3-3 system Messi scores goals as well as providing chances for others.

    The point regarding Messi's supposed reliance on Xavi, Iniesta and Busquets for his goals, and that he is therefore not as good as Ronaldo, is not valid. Football is a team game. Yes Barcelona's midfield is better than Real's, and Messi does benefit from this, but all forwards need a degree of service to be succesful. Real Madrid's midfield is certainly very good at creating chances for Ronaldo. Xabi Alonso is of huge importance in this respect (because of his recent injury problems I will not even mention Kaka). For instance look at the welfare of Liverpool and Fernado Torres after the deparrtue of Alonso for £30 million. Alonso's ability to pick a pass and to create openings is of major importance for Real Madrid and Ronaldo.

    Ronaldo does not perform on the biggest stage, he often goes missing in the most important games. The 2009 Champions League final is the perfect example of this, a game in which Messi scored with his head (shock horror how could this have possibly happened??). He does not pose much of a threat when he is being frustrated by teams that close him down and do not allow him time on the ball.

    Yes Ronaldo does have amazing pace and power but these are attributes that come from hours spent in the gym, and therefore they can be replicated by other players. Physically Gareth Bale is on the same level as Ronaldo. One day he might be just as effective. Moreover Ronaldo's skills when it comes to set pieces come from his dedication to training and from hours of practice. This is testament to his commitment to football (a quality few professionals truly have), but again others could in theory do the same. The point is that Ronaldo's key attributes are not unique and can be copied, but this is certainly not the case with Messi's key skills.

    No one could replicate Messi's amazing ability to dribble past numerous players with ease and then cooly slot past the keeper with a flick of his boot. He truly is the best player in the world.

  • Comment number 98.

    Is the ronaldo being an all round better player debate based on his heading ability?

    It cant be his free kicks, because the vast majority of them are rotten and dont even make it past the wall.

    Id also like to add that Messi doesnt ever have to leave Spain to prove himself, to suggest he does it just idiotic. Are some suggesting he'd fall to pieces playing against the likes of bramble and shawcross? I guess guys like Paul Scholes can never really be considered great players/

    They're both brilliant players, people used to use Ronaldos goal tally to sight him as the best, but Messi scores more now so they cant do that. You know what else is funny? Ronaldos already bagged 5 penalties this season, and 4 or 5 more than Messi this season. So whilst hes keeping his tally up, hes had a bigger advantage, and he topped his tally up against bottom 8 sides too, messi was the opposite

  • Comment number 99.

    hmmmm theres alot to consider. yes, its inarguable that theyre both at the pinnacle of world football now. but theres a lot to read into. for instance, ronaldo has only begun to make his mark in la liga whereas la ligas messi's comfort zone. and yes, barca are awesome. i have a certain affinity with los cules (although im a rabid, lifelong united fanatic and always will be). but messi has that telepathic link with xavi and iniesta that comes from playing a decade with those players. he has that affinity with his club because it is truly his home. whereas ronaldo has always been more of a merc. i wonder how ronaldo would benefit from having two midfielders (geniuses in their own right) willing and able to play him in at any opportunity. also, regard the club philosopy of barca and then madrid. barca play for the badge. the players in the majority, have a deep love for the club. respect is probably not a deep enough emotion to describe how they feel about fc barcelona. puyol, xavi, iniesta, pedro, valdes...are all born catalans or have been at the club since they were just coming into their teens. also, fabregas and arteta begun their careers at barcelona so that goes to show what the club means as a school of football and not just as a football club. fc barcelona IS barcelona. it is the club of the state of catalonia. it is catalonia. it is belongs to the the true sense of the the people. i think the players buy into that and benefit from that. they can feel that they belong. as much as fc barcelona is world class team, i get the feeling that mediocrity would be tolerated as long as it was obvious that the individual was doing all that he could. this is proven by busquets involvement. but he plays to the best of his limited ability and thats all they ask. whereas im not so sure the same philosopy applies at madrid. there, they have a long conveyor belt, where failures get unceremoniously thrown to the side and loyal servants of the club are rulhlessly dumped like so much garbage (see madrids treatment of hierro, the club captain in the 80s and 90s).

    but then, i guess ronaldo is suited to madrid because he is every bit as ruthless as his paymasters. and the same applies to messi. each to their own i guess. and thats our beautiful game, in a nutshell

  • Comment number 100.

    It's totally clear that Messi is a superior footballer to Ronaldo.

    Anybody quoting stats to argue for Ronaldo need to watch games over seasons to properly judge their peformances, and make an impartial judgement if they support the teams he's played for. From open play (where a player really makes a difference) Messi has scored far more goals.

    Any comment that suggests Messi wouldn't be as good without Xavi or Iniesta on the pitch is also nonsense and without any foundation; see the goal against Getafe in the Copa del Rey as one example of evidence to dispel this myth. (He eventually scored with his right foot, for anyone who suggest's he's not both-footed).


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