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Lionel Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo

Although the argument has been raging for years, there never really seems to be a clear-cut answer to the which footballer is better, Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo?
So we’ve decided to take a look at the stats of both of these, undoubtedly world-class footballers to try and find out which is the best.

Personally whenever I’ve thought about Ronaldo vs Messi, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s a bit like comparing apples to oranges. On one hand you have Messi, 26 years of age with currently 223 goals to his name under Barcelona. Then you have Ronaldo, 28 years of age and with 166 goals to his name under Real Madrid (and then 84 at Manchester United too). Messi has the greater goals-to-games ratio, but is this a really true reflection of which is the better player?

When thinking of these two players my opinion is that they’re two types of players, and so it’s not possible to make a judgement on the best. Lionel Messi is an out-and-out goalscorer, capable of running at players from anywhere on the pitch and scoring goals. He isn’t the most likely to make assists; he simply wants to score. Ronaldo is similar in that since arriving at Madrid he’s moving from midfield to become more of a forward, but yet in my opinion he has a more all-round game then Messi. Ronaldo creates a lot of goals, scores with either foot and scores with his head. Messi, although capable of the rest I’m sure, tends to score goals from his left-foot. I think it’s easier to pinpoint where and how Messi is going to do damage to a team, whereas with Ronaldo there are a number of ways in which he can cause damage.

There have been rumours that Messi will be off-loaded by Barcelona in the next few months, as the club wants to cash-in when he’s at peak value – with the figure in mind being €250 million, which would eclipse the world’s highest fee which was paid by arch rivals Madrid for Gareth Bale. However I don’t buy the story that Barca would want to sell their star man, due to the power it would give to the club he signed for – and where else is there for him to play really. PSG may have the funds to buy him, but why would he want to challenge himself in an inferior league. The Bundesliga or Premier League would be closer to the level of La Liga, but then these are more physical leagues where he may not enjoy himself as much.

Cristiano Ronaldo left United for Madrid for a fee of around £80 million, so around €100 million. This was a few years ago, so it’s likely that if he moved today it would have been closer to €150. This still leaves his valuation €100 million short of Messi’s projected value, so is this a fair way to ascertain which is the better player? Unlikely, as transfer fees will take into account the players marketability, and both of these guys have to be the most marketable on the planet.

Ultimately I feel there isn’t a way to compare these two players, they’re both unique in their own right. Messi is a freak of nature who can dribble past anyone and score a crazy number of goals, ultimately a 1-man-team, while Ronaldo is a more physical, tricky and skilful striker that can take players on as well as score bags of goals. There really is no way, or no reason, to say which is the best.

About Matt

Matt is the owner and chief-editor of the Footy Blog, one of the UK's leading football news blogs.

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