Messi, who is Argentina's record scorer, has been criticised for his lack of major silverware with his country. The 35-year-old Portuguese superstar, who is the all-time record scorer for his country, also lifted the Nations League title in 2019. When it comes to pure, all out speed, Ronaldo would win a foot race. Who’s better? Well, probably not. His role as an ambassador for the game off the pitch. Both are phenomenal dribblers. We’ve been fortunate even to see the two players that are among the best of all time. Besides, 87.7 percent of statistics are made up on the spot. So the argument for Ronaldo over Messi, I see, has come down to three games. The Messi vs. Cristiano debate may be the most formidable and impossible question ever posed in the history of soccer.There have been debates over tactics and style of play, including counterattack vs. possession and football vs. anti-football (basically offensive vs. defensive). Besides, 87.7 percent of statistics are made up on the spot. There are intangible qualities that go towards greatness, like leadership. How about Messi’s 0.81 goals per game throughout his career compared to Ronaldo’s 0.72 … AND Messi’s 0.33 assists per game compared to Ronaldo’s 0.23? to those finals? His perfectly chiseled, 6-foot-2 frame affords him the ability to score a greater variation of goals. Get the latest odds, analysis, and insights at Yahoo Sportsbook. But I think the intensely polarizing nature of this debate leads to unnecessary and irrational belittling of one player to accentuate the case for the other. The Portuguese striker has netted more often – 698 to 671 as of October 2nd, 2019 (by the time you read this, those stats will almost certainly have changed) but Messi’s frequency is better, with a goal every 100 minutes against Ronaldo’s one every 112 minutes. When times are tough and he’s expected to show his leadership qualities, he throws a hissy fit and. He is fully capable of finishing any half chance created for him, but even if that supply line is broken, he is just a likely to create, and finish, a chance on his own. One of Ronaldo’s biggest advantages over Messi cannot be measured with your empirical nerd data: He is a big-game player who always shows up in big moments. How many of the greatest players in the world are introverts?” Well Michael Jordan was an introvert. Ronaldo is a consummate professional – a clean diet, ice baths at 3 a.m. after away games and all manner of other miserable things are part of his routine, to optimize every last fiber of his physical being. Ramadan dilemma for World Cup-bound Muslim players: faith or football? (Getty), We’re back! And one of those debates, inevitably, is the most enthralling, tiresome, stupid, impassioned and entertaining debate in soccer: Lionel Messi vs. Cristiano Ronaldo. I won’t dispute that Ronaldo is a better leader, though. These days, Ronaldo is a number nine – a multi-talented one, but one who fits into a comfortable soccer niche. in Multimedia Journalism at MMU. His mere presence sucks defenders out of position, opening up space for others to operate. It’s OK to root for both. And the hourglasses on those primes are running out of sand. I don’t doubt Messi’s genius, but my head and heart both prefer the man whose greatness is only eclipsed by his vanity. is how we’re going to define the greatest player of a generation? Gareth Bale and Benzema are fine players, but most would agree that they are not at the same level as the Barcelona duo. And there’s no better way to lead than, oh, I dunno, scoring a hat trick to save teammates from eternal national disgrace. 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Got a story tip for Adnan? Mostly, a deep lying second striker – or part of an interchanging three, he is the player who will suddenly produce something out of nothing. Is it the Adonis of the soccer field, a man so obsessed with his own physical perfection that he does press ups in the shower? in History at the University of York and followed it up with an M.A. You’ve gone quieter than Messi in a major final! Get all the sports news you need, direct to your inbox. Or at least I am. And sixteen of the last twenty winners have played for one or other of the Spanish giants. When he took those skills to a central role, à la Ronaldo, he had the greatest year of any footballer, ever: 73 goals and 29 assists in 2011-12. Ronny was only 19 when he lost the Euro 2004 final – so not exactly a talisman – and Messi has been to all those major finals because he plays for Argentina, who boast incredible World Cup pedigree and a squad far, far, far, far, far superior to Portugal’s! He’s won 17 Clasicos to Ronaldo’s eight. His ability to lead. Everything you need to know about sports betting starts here. When he was injured at the Euro 2016 final he basically became their manager on the sidelines! Well then let’s stick to club comparisons! Henry Bushnell: We’re back! He’s scored 27 Clasico goals to Ronaldo’s 19. 10, and he’s, singlehandedly dragging withering Barcelona teams to. The fact that he has an actual personality. The Argentina captain has led his country to the final of the 2014 World Cup and the 2015 and 2016 Copa America finals. Now, after another spell on the right wing, he’s a more traditional No. Which is about as laughable as the idea that Messi is responsible for Gonzalo Higuain’s love affair with wayward shots into row Z. When he was injured at the Euro 2016 final he basically became their manager on the sidelines! You want to talk about variety? Ronaldo is a true leader for club and country. That’s yet another reason. : I cannot do that, dear boy, because the “(incorrect) case for Ronaldo” is a contradiction in terms, like “Messi’s personality” or “brilliant Messi headed goal.”, The latter leads me to my opening argument: Ronaldo is a better. Even if we ignore the fact that Messi was not at all responsible for those three high-profile losses – even if we ignore the photographic evidence that his teammates’ inadequacies rendered him a one-man show – how can we just ignore the fact that Messi got to those finals? THAT is how we’re going to define the greatest player of a generation? Cut off his supply, and his effectiveness is reduced. But there really is something to be said for appreciating both Messi and Ronaldo. Because I know I’ve got this debate won. The world is divided. But leadership, as you’re defining it, is just one tiny piece of greatness. Here, Ronaldo’s time playing wide might seem to offer him an advantage, but the statistics do not support this. Because to get the best out of Ronaldo, it helps to have players who will feed him the ball, especially since his move away from the wing. Here Messi significantly outperforms his rival. Both players are better at scoring than assisting, but even so, Messi’s record here is almost fifty per cent better when it comes to minutes per assist. Ronny was only 19 when he lost the Euro 2004 final – so not exactly a talisman – and Messi has been to all those major finals because he plays for Argentina, who boast incredible World Cup pedigree and a squad far, far, far, far, far superior to Portugal’s! His big-game mentality. Henry Bushnell: “How many of the greatest players in the world are introverts?” Well Michael Jordan was an introvert. CR7 ties it, and we're 2-2. And I’m not talking about immaterial characteristics like beards or tattoos. He’s won the same amount of Champions Leagues (four). His greatness is impossible to refute. Ryan Bailey: You’re right, Henry. Messi, 33, won the World Cup Golden Ball in 2014 and Copa America Golden Ball in 2015 with Argentina. Who’s better? I’ll take tangible, quantifiable abilities over intangibles 10 times out of 10. A far higher percentage of his goals – 18% against just 3.5% – come from headers. More international finals in three years than Ronaldo has been to in his entire career. No, you need not go on. Both remain at the top of their game, but equally each, in his way, knows that his years at the very pinnacle of the soccer world are coming to an end.
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