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Football's Greatest Rivalry

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Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo: the two greatest footballers of this generation. These two stars are known all around the world even to some who barely know anything about the game of soccer. Their rivalry is one of the greatest ones in sports history, and people constantly argue about who is better. Although they are both phenomenal athletes, here are the comparisons that prove Messi is a better overall player.


First and foremost, Messi has assisted (passed to a teammate who scored a goal) 225 times in his entire career, while Ronaldo has 190 assists (Goals).  Messi’s vision on the pitch is incredible, as he creates chances through perfect curving passes, doing it often and making it look easy. If the receiver is able to finish, these brilliant passes end up being assists, explaining why Messi has 35 more assists than Ronaldo and is stronger in passing.
Messi has stuck with Barcelona FC since he moved to Spain from Argentina at the age of 13, 11 years ago. Ronaldo, on the other hand, was signed by English team Manchester United at the age of 18 in 2003, and he moved to Real Madrid CF 6 years later. Messi has won 8 Spanish La Liga titles and 4 UEFA Champions League (UCL) trophies with Barcelona, the trophies considered most prestigious (Totalsportek2). Winning the league 8 out of 11 seasons is a remarkable feat. Ronaldo, who has far less trophies than Messi as shown above, played for two different teams to earn 3 English Premier League (EPL) titles,a La Liga title and 3 UCL trophies (Totalsportek2). In short, Messi has won 8 league titles and 4 UCL trophies with Barcelona for 11 years, while Ronaldo has just 4 league titles and 3 UCL trophies in his 14 year career among two teams.  This shows that Messi has had a greater impact on his team.

 

Messi is also stronger at dribbling than Ronaldo, mainly due to his technique. He makes subtle moves, such as drops of the shoulder and hesitations, to deceive the defender and mask his intentions. Also, Messi’s small stature allows to accelerate at a blistering pace, easily dancing through the defence (Mowatt). Meanwhile, Ronaldo frequently uses his technique known as the stepover. However, this has proven to be ineffective as he only averages 0.5 dribbles per game, and has a 10% success rate. Messi, on the other hand, averages an 5.83 dribbles per game, and has a 50% success rate (How). This proves the immense difference between the dribbling of Messi and Ronaldo. 


Ronaldo is known for sometimes taking the ball too far when passing to a teammate would’ve been a better idea, or showing frustration when a teammate scores or doesn’t pass to him. Messi, on the other hand, rarely shows anger and sometimes even gives a penalty chance to his teammates. This makes Messi a better team player.
It is arguable that Ronaldo’s physicality is better than Messi’s. Messi’s hormone deficiency caused him to be extremely short, but Barcelona’s treatment brought him up to 170 cm. However, this is still a small height and it is difficult for him to score headers and use his body. Ronaldo, on the other hand, at 185 cm, is physically stronger than Messi. However, even with his advantage in size, Ronaldo shies away from using his body and often dives (fakes to get a foul called). Messi, on the other hand, is never afraid to go at thedefence, and does his best to avoid and fight through tackles. This shows that Ronaldo may be larger, but Messi is actually the more physical player.

 

Some may also claim that Ronaldo has had a greater impact on his nation Portugal’s football team than Messi had on Argentina. This is because Ronaldo won the prestigious Euro 2016 trophy with Portugal recently. However, Messi prevails in assists again as he has 14 more than Ronaldo, and although he hasn’t won much with Argentina, not many realize the effort he puts in. Messi captained Argentina, leading and encouraging his team to the finals, so close to winning the greatest trophies, such as the World Cup 2014 and Copa America 2015 and 2016a La Liga title and 3 UCL trophies (Totalsportek2). In short, Messi has won 8 league titles and 4 UCL trophies with Barcelona for 11 years, while Ronaldo has just 4 league titles and 3 UCL trophies in his 14 year career among two teams.  This shows that Messi has had a greater impact on his team.


Messi is also stronger at dribbling than Ronaldo, mainly due to his technique. He makes subtle moves, such as drops of the shoulder and hesitations, to deceive the defender and mask his intentions. Also, Messi’s small stature allows to accelerate at a blistering pace, easily dancing through the defence (Mowatt). Meanwhile, Ronaldo frequently uses his technique known as the stepover. However, this has proven to be ineffective as he only averages 0.5 dribbles per game, and has a 10% success rate. Messi, on the other hand, averages an 5.83 dribbles per game, and has a 50% success rate (How). This proves the immense difference between the dribbling of Messi and Ronaldo. 


Ronaldo is known for sometimes taking the ball too far when passing to a teammate would’ve been a better idea, or showing frustration when a teammate scores or doesn’tpass to him. Messi, on the other hand, rarely shows anger and sometimes even gives a penalty chance to his teammates. This makes Messi a better team player.

 

It is arguable that Ronaldo’s physicality is better than Messi’s. Messi’s hormone deficiency caused him to be extremely short, but Barcelona’s treatment brought him up to 170 cm. However, this is still a small height and it is difficult for him to score headers and use his body. Ronaldo, on the other hand, at 185 cm, is physically stronger than Messi. However, even with his advantage in size, Ronaldo shies away from using his body and often dives (fakes to get a foul called). Messi, on the other hand, is never afraid to go at the . The Euro 2016 trophy is the only award Ronaldo won with Portugal, and he went out of the game injured in the first half of the finals. Messi led his team to the finals of a large tournament on 3 occasions, but was just unlucky in the final match.
In short, even though Ronaldo may have scored more goals and might have better physicality, Messi prevails in creating chances, dribbling and vision. After all of these brilliant comparisons, you must be an idiot to disagree. Ronaldo is a fantastic player, but Messi is just one step ahead.  It is time to appreciate the one and only greatest of all time.






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