When the topic of conversation ‘Who is the best player in the world?’ crops up, thoughts immediately turn to the sensational football brains of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Although both different, no one can argue that the pair are two footballers who will go down in the history of the game. Many people have many views, and this is a rivalry that has got pundits trying to make an impossible decision. Week in week out they don’t fail to produce outstanding pieces of football which no one else in the world could come close to. But the question is, who is better, Messi or Ronaldo?
First of all, let’s start with something that just cannot be ignored – goals. Both are expected to score at least once in every game they play in, and why not? They both average over a goal a game and take to the pitch every game expecting to score. But looking deep into statistics, somehow, one has the better record than the other. Despite the fact that Ronaldo has scored more career goals than Messi, he is two years and a half older than Leo, and his goals to game ratio isn’t quite as outstanding. In Cr7’s career, he has played 594 matches, scoring 407 goals, but in Messi’s career, he has played 479 matches and scored 388 goals, giving Messi a better goals to game ratio than C-Ron.
Moving on to style of play, you can’t fault either of them. Messi is known for his 100 mph dribbles and beating five players before delicately chipping the goalkeeper, whereas Ronaldo is known for beastly runs before unleashing unstoppable 30 yard screamers into the top corner. They are very different in their style, but they cannot be separated on how good their style is, as both of them are out of this world.
Looking at extra attributes other than goals and style, both of the two superstars have their very own trademarks, which complete them as a player. For Ronaldo, this trademark is his unique way of striking a football to get it to go up and down so quickly and to move in all different directions whilst in the air to give the goalkeeper no chance. He either uses this when gaining an extra half a yard on his man on the edge of the box, or from a free-kick. In terms of Messi, he has two trademark specialities that makes him into the world-class bracket. First of all, it is his ability to run almost as fast with the ball as without it, keeping it perfectly in control the whole way. That is an ability that can change any game and is almost impossible to stop. Also, he is well known for his classy lobs over the goalkeeper. He has scored many of these, where just as the keeper rushes out he cleverly scoops it over his head and into the back of the net. He best portrayed this finishing technique in a Champions League round of 16 match against Bayer Leverkusen, where two of his FIVE goals on the night were chipped over a helpless Bernd Leno.
Finally, to give one the advantage over the other may seem impossible and somewhat unfair on the extremely talented footballer who is only the second best player of his generation, but I have made my decision. Based on the fact that the magician that is Lionel Messi scores more goals and chips in with more for his team mates, I would have to say that Leo just edges this one for me. Of course there will be times when Cristiano is in better form than Messi, but currently looking back at each of their careers, Lionel Messi is the best player in the world.