The Ronaldo vs Messi debate has been popular ever since Lionel Messi stepped on to the scene back in 2005. Cristiano Ronaldo had already began creating a buzz for himself before Messi, when he arrived at Manchester United in 2003, and it only seemed natural for everyone to compare the two future prospects. At present, both Ronaldo and Messi continue to compete for prestigious awards and the title for world’s best player.
Lionel Messi was crowned player of the year for the third year in a row after he won the 2012 Ballon d’Or award. Although Ronaldo may make a little more than Messi after incentives and endorsements, it only seems fair to examine which footballer actually deserves to earn the most money and be crowned the world’s best player. As of now, Lionel Messi is valued as the most expensive player in the world, worth at least $115.2 million, with Ronaldo being the second most expensive player in the world, worth at least $103. 6 million.
Ronaldo vs Messi: Dribbling/Control/Technique
Both Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are amazing when it comes to dribbling the ball. Ronaldo possesses a unique way of dancing with the ball using various step-overs, roll-overs and elasticos that really deceive the defender into making the wrong move. On the other hand Lionel Messi, uses his low center of gravity to make quick latteral movements while dribbling, which makes it seem like the ball is permanently glued to his foot.
Messi also chooses to go straight into his opponent at a fast pace, as opposed to Ronaldo who dances in one spot to attract the defender into making a poor tackle. When it comes to Ronaldo and Messi’s control, everyone can agree that they both have the sweetest first touches, by being able to absorb any long ball with just one touch in the most difficult areas of the pitch.
Verdict: Although Cristiano Ronaldo uses a more flashy and difficult technique when dribbling the ball, Lionel Messi still employs the more effective dribbling technique during games. Ronaldo tends to waste more time trying to make the defender look foolish, in instances where Messi will naturally pull a fast trick to get away from the defender as soon as possible.
Lionel Messi: 97/100
Cristiano Ronaldo: 94/100
Ronaldo vs Messi: Free-kicks
Cristiano Ronaldo, has one of the most powerful shots in the world and uses his very own unique shooting style when taking free-kicks. Instead of making the ball curl around the keeper’s reach, Ronaldo utilises his own knuckle ball approach that manipulates the ball to sway left and right in mid-air as it travels towards goal. In contrast, Lionel Messi uses the typical but very effective way to curl the ball with the inside of his left foot that almost always manages to beat the keeper.
Verdict: Both Ronaldo and Messi almost always capitalize on their chance to score from a free-kick. However, Ronaldo utilizes his own unique way of taking the free-kick which gives him an edge over Lionel Messi and crowns him the free-kick champion.
Lionel Messi: 83/100:
Cristiano Ronaldo: 90/100
Cristiano Ronaldo is obviously the bigger athlete of the two. Standing at 6-foot-1, it is nearly impossible for any defender to out play Ronaldo and win the ball from him. Also, he almost always wins balls in the air intended or not intended for him, even with a couple players on his back. Moreover, Ronaldo may be one of the fastest players in the world, but he limits his speed by the way he swings his arms and legs while sprinting. Even though Ronaldo doesn’t play very aggressively, he still demonstrates great strength and power on and off the ball.
Lionel Messi stands only 5-foot-7 and still does a great job of winning the ball in the air, by being able to leap very high. He is also quite possibly the fastest player with and without the ball, making him almost invincible on the field. In addition, defenders almost never succeed when trying to take the ball off Messi because he makes sure he gets his body in front of the ball, forcing the player into fouling him instead of giving up possession.
Verdict: Lionel Messi is definitely one of the most aggressive players, which is the reason why he never loses the ball and wins head-to-head tackles. Ronaldo also wins one-on-one balls but he likes to avoid working hard and tends to hit the ground when he feels he’s going to lose the ball. Even though Cristiano Ronaldo does 1000 press-ups a day, Messi gets his hands dirty and puts himself on the line to keep possession.
Lionel Messi: 86/100
Cristiano Ronaldo: 82/100
Ronaldo vs Messi: Team Play
Cristiano Ronaldo almost always puts forth 110% individual effort into every single one of his performances. Even though Ronaldo gets a little selfish with the ball, he still manages to rack in some very effective assists for Real Madrid. Then again, Ronaldo almost never gets to utilize those great distributive skills because he never gives up the ball to his team mates, which negatively impacts the rest of his team’s performance.
With Xavi, Iniesta and Fabregas in the Barcelona line-up, it is nearly impossible for Lionel Messi not to give up the ball on his team. Therefore, someone can argue that Messi isn’t better than Ronaldo because he has other players that help him perform more efficiently. However, if Ronaldo accepted the rest of his team mates, he would be able to improve himself and make his team better at the same time.
Verdict: Let’s face it, Cristiano Ronaldo is like the Kobe Bryant of soccer, and he is the most selfish player in the NBA. Clearly Messi knows how to use his team to bring out the best in him self, making him the better team player.
Lionel Messi: 91/100
Cristiano Ronaldo: 85/100
CR7 won the Premier League Golden Boot after scoring the most goals in the campaign playing for Manchester United in the 2007/2008 season. He also broke the La Liga record for most goals (38 goals) after scoring 40 goals in Real Madrid’s 2010/2011 season. In addition, Ronaldo is a clinical finisher, capable of scoring from over 25 yards away from goal or anywhere inside the box. His strength and power in the air is also another reason why he is a clutch finisher that scores the most goals every season.
Lionel Messi is the ultimate finisher on the ground. He is able to dribble through an entire team from half, and still finish the ball despite burning all his energy running with the ball for so long. Another great thing about Messi is that he makes it seem easy to score so cheekily by chipping the keeper running full speed towards him. Finishing is one of Messi’s finest arts and if he painted a picture with his goals, it would be a masterpiece.
Verdict: It is very clear that both Ronaldo and Messi know exactly how to finish and rack in the goals. Even though, Ronaldo may not finish so well under pressure like Messi, he still manages to score more goals than him, making him the more clinical finisher.
Lionel Messi: 93/100
Cristiano Ronaldo: 94/100
Ronaldo vs Messi is a tough battle to analyze, which makes it even harder to decide the winner of the war. It is safe to say that in the beginning of Ronaldo and Messi’s careers, Cristiano was the one owning the spotlight. However, the latter and prime stages of both Ronaldo and Messi’s career have been claimed by Lionel Messi, crowning him victor of the Messi vs Ronaldo battle.
Lionel Messi: 90/100
Cristiano Ronaldo: 89/100