The next year, he scored in the Champions League Final to give Manchester United the lead against Chelsea. Between them, the two have won the last 6 Ballon d’Or / FIFA World Player of the Year / FIFA Ballon d’Or awards, underlining their supremacy over the rest of the footballing world. Though Ronaldo has finished as a UEFA Euro runner-up and bronze medalist with Portugal and Messi has won the Olympic football m88 tournament with Argentina, both players remain lacking in major, influential performances in the World Cup. The two have different attributes, different roles, and different temperaments, which makes comparing them pointless. While it’s a bit unfair, given the high number of assists Ronaldo usually registers, it is Messi who is lauded as being a team player.
Where Ronaldo’s greatness lies is having a comparable scoring ratio in spite of having played as a winger for the early part of his career, and not being the prime attacking outlet for his team for much of his career. This led to a massive boost in his performances, and he was soon knocking down numerous scoring records.
As former Real manager Jose Mourinho once said, the two would undoubtedly have won ten Ballon d’Or awards each had they been born in separate eras. His powerful shooting is a big part of his game, which often centers around cutting in from the left wing and shooting at goal with his right foot. This is crucial in today’s hectic football calendar.
Both are known for their finishing and dribbling abilities, as well as being dead ball experts. It was mainly his move to Spain to the rivals of Barcelona, Lionel Messi’s club, that has led to constant comparison between the two.
Did You Know?Ronaldo has the player rating of 92 in the popular video game FIFA 14. His finishing and passing abilities were also honed by his unique role in Barcelona’s system. It was under Pep Guardiola, though, that Messi started to achieve legendary status. It is a widely held theory that the two need to win or dominate a World Cup in the fashion of Maradona or Pele to be considered the best of all time.
Messi is renowned for his close control, dribbling, and deadly finishing. In the same Champions League campaign, he also became the first player to score a goal in the Champions League final for two winning teams, also having scored in United’s 2008-09 win.
Both are the undoubted stars at their respective clubs, Messi at Barcelona and Ronaldo at Real Madrid. Since arriving in Madrid, where he became the prime focus of the team’s attacking play, he has scored 252 goals in just 246 appearances! In just 5 seasons at Real Madrid, he has already jumped to #4 on the all-time scoring charts at Real.
Honors: La Liga: 2004-05, 2005-06, 2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11, 2012-13; Copa del Rey: 2008-09, 2011-12; Spanish Super Cup: 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013; UEFA Champions League: 2005-06, 2008-09, 2010-11; UEFA Super Cup: 2009, 2011; FIFA Club World Cup: 2009, 2011; Olympics Football (with Argentina): 2008; FIFA U-20 World Cup (with Argentina): 2005
As mentioned before, either Messi or Ronaldo has won the prize awarded to the best player in the world for the last six years. In this case, the numbers are so ridiculously close that in the end it comes down to personal choice, and this writer falls in the Ronaldo camp.
The main hurdle left in the way of both players is a lack of major achievements on the international stage. Many retired players, such as Zinedine Zidane, have praised his hard work ethic, and former professional bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger has expressed praise for Ronaldo’s physique. He is renowned for his free-kick taking, passing, dribbling, heading, and shooting abilities. After winning the 2008-09 Champions League with United, Real Madrid came calling for the star, like they had for Beckham. His style of play and short height have drawn inevitable comparisons with Argentine legend Diego Maradona.
Clubs: Sporting Lisbon (2002-2003), Manchester United (2003-2009), Real Madrid (2009-present). Messi is the highest ranked, with 94.
All statistics accurate as of June 20, 2014.
Football fans today are blessed to be enjoying an era filled with legendary players such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Luis Suárez, Arjen Robben, Robin van Persie, Sergio Agüero, Yaya Touré, Gareth Bale, Neymar, Andrea Pirlo, etc. His pace and strength are major factors in his game, allowing him to hold on to the ball under challenges and slip away from markers, while he also has an unusually strong heading ability for a player in his position. Both take their respective team’s penalties, and both are the focus of the team’s attacking play.
The star of Lionel Messi came close to being extinguished before it could even light up. He has received sprinting lessons from 100-meter World Record holder Usain Bolt. However, two names always come up in football debates as the best two players in the world right now. He also broke Messi and Altafini’s 14-goal record in the Champions League in 2013-14, scoring 17. Though he lacks the height of Ronaldo, he has an excellent heading technique, perhaps most famously seen in his goal in the 2009 Champions League Final against Ronaldo’s United. Breaking each other’s records comes as naturally to these two as pretending to not care about the rivalry between them.
Ronaldo is famous for his exacting fitness regimen. He has been called “the complete player” by his former coach and mentor Sir Alex Ferguson.
Clubs: Barcelona (2003-present, including spells in Barcelona ‘C’ and ‘B’ teams)
Position: Striker, Right Winger
His array of skills is just as famous as his physique. Fortunately for him and millions of football fans, Barcelona reached out to him in his native Argentina, and signed him up, agreeing to pay for his medication.
Under manager Frank Rijkaard, Messi played as a right winger so that he could cut in on to his stronger foot instead of view it