We, football fans, have this natural tendency to compare between great footballers. We are never happy to keep both superheroes of our time (or any time) at the same pedestal, do we?
Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are arguably the two greatest footballer of this generation. Or any generation. But somewhere deep inside our favouritism grows. We bring in all our objective and subjective arguments into play. This is probably the biggest debate in the world football at the moment for the football fans. And despite knowing it’s futile to compare between two legends of the game, we are still drawn into the vortex of this enticing battle of arguments – “Ronaldo vs Messi: Who is Better?”
Andy Brassell, a good friend of Soccerlens, former host of Soccerlens TV show, was at Old Trafford recently covering Portugal’s international friendly against Argentina. Andy posed this question to the fans (check the video below) who came to watch the match at Old Trafford – “Ronaldo vs Messi: Who is Better?”
We decided to engage ourselves with the same debate “Ronaldo vs Messi: Who is Better?” at Soccerlens tower today. Saikat, Tam, Sai, Venkat & Chris – took part in the debate and shared their views.
Venkat: Leo Messi
At the moment, Cristiano Ronaldo is undoubtedly on a different level to anyone else on the planet. But if I ask myself the question – “Who would I rather have in my team?”, the answer, quite resoundingly, is Lionel Messi. The Argentine has not been at his best this season, but I believe that is down to his style of play, which depends a lot on his teammates. His movement and link-up play with those around him are pivotal to his performing well. In Ronaldo’s case, in many cases, it is simply – ‘give him the ball, he’ll score you a goal.’
Messi’s ability to dove-tail with the likes of Xavi and Andres Iniesta was absolutely supreme, and he is now finding his feet with Luis Suarez, Neymar and Ivan Rakitic. The stats validate this too. Since Ronaldo joined Real Madrid, the difference between the goals scored by the two in all competitions is low, with Messi have netter 10 more than the Portuguese. In the assists’ chart though, the Barcelona man has 32 more than Ronaldo.
I admit, Ronaldo is probably a more complete individual. His ambidextrous traits are far better than Messi’s, and the fact that he is around 6-7 inches taller than the Argentine make him a much better header of the ball too.
But, football is a team sport. And so, I would go for Messi any day of the week.
In football what matters is the end result. It’s the question of ‘whether it is done or not’ rather ‘how it is done.’ From that perspective, both these super-human players have proved their supreme excellence. There’s a bit of subjective element here.
Messi has been draped in the Catalan culture since he started giving shape to his dream of becoming a professional footballer. Barcelona is his “Comfort Zone”. Barcelona has become his “comfort zone”.
It’s not easy to come out of your “comfort zone” time & again and prove the world what you’re capable of. Different system, different culture, different team mates, different language, different upbringing – even grown up adults find hard to adjust quickly to the alien surroundings, finds hard to fight against his “comfort zone.”
This boy from Madeira, left his “comfort zone” at the tender age of 16-17, to join (one of) the biggest club in England and to replace a club legend. And then he went to become a club legend himself in five years? Do you think it’s a bloody joke?
He could have easily stayed there, collected few more league titles, personal glory, every thing, yet he chose to test himself at the biggest club in the world. Rest. IS. History.
This is not the first time I have participated in this debate, and definitely not the last. As a football fan I have learnt to appreciate these two phenomenal footballers, the best of our generation. However, if it comes down to choosing one over the other on the basis of objectivity, one would have to take into account, a lot of parameters including their achievements, general ability, statistics etc. And unless of course the difference is massive, there is always a scope for subjectivity.
Although I doubt anybody disagrees with the completeness of Lionel Messi as a footballer, the sport is always open to interpretation and encourages favoritism. For example, both Xavi and Scholes were great central midfielders and yet people prefer one over the other for no particular reason. Its perhaps the way they play, the technique, the flair, the aggression, their loyalty, their on and off the pitch presence? A lot comes into consideration while picking your favorite player. And although none of these reasons are necessarily objective, they do have a say in every debate regarding top players.
Tam: Leo Messi
Well, it’s a very tough question to choose one from the two best players in the World. But I would pick the Argentine. I feel Messi’s natural ability is far superior compared to Cristiano Ronaldo. I feel Messi is someone who with the ball at his feet can produce anything. Ronaldo too is a great athlete but when it comes to giving joy on watching the beautiful game, you can spend sleepless nights for the diminutive wizard from Rosario. My favourite player of all time is Diego Maradona and if anyone comes near him it is Messi.
No doubt that our generation is lucky enough to see two of the greatest players ever to play football. For me, at the moment, the former Manchester United superstar is above the Barcelona man.
Ronaldo is the favourite to win Ballon d’Or as Messi has changed his position this season for the Catalan club. The Portuguese international has been scoring and assisting goals like his Barcelona counterpart – only that Real Madrid star is doing much better than Messi.
For the last few years, Messi was clearly on top. But since last year, it has been Ronaldo’s show (excluding the World Cup)
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