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Who is Better Messi or Ronaldo? The Great Debate
The Messi or Ronaldo debate may be the most argued question in the history of football. Both players have had their statistics, style of play and tactics analysed and scrutinised in the hope of finally answering who is better.
It’s widely accepted that Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are the best players of the modern generation – with many arguing they are simply the best to have ever played football.
“Two incredibly different types of players have challenged each other week in and week out for the GOAT status, and neither has ever cracked under pressure.”
So, who is better? Messi or Ronaldo?
Table of Contents
The Portuguese phenomenon and the empyrean Argentine has dominated the minds of football fans everywhere for the past decade
CRISTIANO RONALDO VS LIONEL MESSI: WHO IS THE GOAT IN FOOTBALL? THE STATS HEAD-TO-HEAD SHOWDOWN
GOAL.COM says Cristiano Ronaldo versus Lionel Messi – who is the GOAT? It is the biggest conundrum in football since the ‘Diego Maradona or Pele?’ debate.
The question of who is better between the Portuguese phenomenon and the empyrean Argentine has dominated the minds of football fans everywhere for the past decade and will persist into the future.
So who really is the greatest of all time? Never mind who you prefer, Goal has taken a look at how the pair actually shape up head-to-head so you can be fully armed with facts in the eternal argument.
Ronaldo has scored more club goals than Messi, but only just and it should be noted that the Juventus star benefits from having played two more seasons than his Argentine nemesis thus far.
When it comes to assists, Messi is much superior to Ronaldo and that contrast has become increasingly stark as their respective roles evolve.
Ronaldo is the all-time leading goalscorer in the Champions League, having shone in the competition with Manchester United and Real Madrid in particular.
However, Messi isn’t far behind and actually has a fractionally better goal-per-game ratio, so there is a good chance that he could overtake the Juventus man if he continues to sparkle in the competition.
When it comes to World Cups, Ronaldo and Messi are considered underperformers and probably with good reason.
Messi and Ronaldo have very similar trophy hauls, but Messi edges things when it comes to league titles, having won La Liga 10 times with Barcelona. Ronaldo has seven league titles, but unlike Messi, he can claim to have won the league in three different countries (England, Spain and Italy) – something that increases his claim to the GOAT crown in the eyes of some.
Read the full story, Cristiano Ronaldo vs Lionel Messi: Who is the GOAT in football? The stats head-to-head showdown, BY GOAL
Messi and Ronaldo differ mostly in their style. Ronaldo is a machine but Messi is magic
MESSI OR RONALDO – WHO IS TRULY THE BEST?
The Perspective says football is dominated by two giants: Juventus, Real Madrid and Man Utd legend Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona and Paris Saint-German’s Lionel Messi.
They’ve scooped almost every individual award over the past 15 years, but there can only be one GOAT. So which one comes out on top? The phenomenal Portuguese Ronaldo or the one-team man Lionel Messi?
Advanced statistics proves Messi is better
Whilst both have impressive stats, Messi’ stats prove he makes better decisions and, more importantly, brings “greater value to his team.”
Using a framework that was originally developed for baseball, The Economist rated Messi’s and Ronaldo’s goals based on their context and importance. These stats, called Expected Points Added (EPA), rate goals by their added win probability. Meaning, a winning goal in the last minute of the game is rated higher than the fourth goal scored in a 4-0 win. Messi’s EPA stands at 59.5 while Ronaldo’s is 50.4.
Moreover, Messi makes better decisions. Using a complex algorithm, a company called GoodCall values a player’s decision-making and Efficiency Per Match (EPM). This entails valuing each pass, shot, chance created or dribbled by players, and then rating the player’s decision-making and efficiency. In 2019, Messi’s EPM was 238, and he was making good decisions 0.63% of the time. Meanwhile, Ronaldo’s EPM was 118 and his decision-making rate was standing at that time only at 0.43%.
According to the stats, Messi is also a better team player. He brings the team together, he has more assists and key passes than Ronaldo and uses his “phenomenal vision” to keep his teammates involved.
Messi and Ronaldo differ mostly in their style. Ronaldo is a machine. He is an explosive player, with abnormal physical abilities and a huge amount of talent. Tall and strong and certainly one of the greatest players, Ronaldo doesn’t possess Messi’s magic.
The Argentine is a greater natural talent. He is a virtuoso, a magician. His dribbling is considered to be the best the game has ever seen, and he passes and shoots the ball with the precision of a brain surgeon. He makes eye-popping moves that leave people speechless and overwhelmed. Seeing him weave his way through a team’s defence and then put the ball past the keeper is just something special.
Messi has more natural talent but Ronaldo’s combination of physical and technical abilities just make him a better specimen. Ronaldo is harder to push off the ball, he has a combination of dizzying pace, great dribbling and powerful shooting with either foot terrorizes defences.
Ronaldo is a better fit for today’s modern game. His athleticism is second to none, he combines his pace with powerful shooting and jumps like an NBA star. Ronaldo, more than Messi, is the ideal model of the next generation of players.
Ronaldo or Messi? On one side, Messi is a better team player and simply more talented. On the other hand, Ronaldo is more complete with a better international career.
Read the full story, MESSI OR RONALDO – WHO IS TRULY THE BEST? by THE PERSPECTIVE
Carra v Neville
Ronaldo has three big differences: headers, wrong-footed goals and he scores more penalties
CHRISTIANO RONALDO OR LIONEL MESSI: WHO IS THE GREATEST? GARY NEVILLE AND JAMIE CARRAGHER DISAGREE
Sky News says Gary Neville made the case for Cristiano Ronaldo to be seen as the greatest player of all time but Jamie Carragher argued for Lionel Messi on Monday Night Football…
“If you were a manager and you could pick any player in history to come off the bench at their peak to win you a game and you only had one substitution left, who would it be?
“It would be Cristiano Ronaldo,” said Neville.
“It would absolutely be Cristiano Ronaldo.
“I looked at his goal breakdown. He can score with his left foot, his wrong foot. He can score with his right foot. He can score from distance. He is probably the best poacher now in world football.
“He can score penalties. And if you stick him in the box and hang it up there he will go and score with a header. He might even score with a free-kick.
“So if you think about who is the greatest player of all time, I do think he is the greatest football player who has ever lived. He is the player who could win me a football match in the most different ways. He is the most complete player.”
Why is Ronaldo ahead of Messi?
“But Ronaldo, the three big differences are the headers, that Ronaldo has scored four or five times more, the wrong-footed goals, that Ronaldo has scored 30 or 40 per cent more, and he has scored more penalties.
But Jamie Carragher strongly disagrees.
“You are talking about the different types of goals,” Carragher told Monday Night Football.
“It does not matter how a ball goes in the net. It does not matter if one is a header or a free-kick. Messi has a better goal record than Ronaldo.
“Messi is also a playmaker. Messi can run a game. Ronaldo cannot do that. Again, not a criticism. But there is no way in the world he is the greatest player of all time.
“You talk about who you would want coming off the bench. Messi has scored double the amount of goals coming off the bench. It is a ridiculous thing to say. It does not matter if Messi’s goals all come with his left foot, the stats prove he has more chance of scoring.
“… Messi can take you to a place where you can’t actually believe what you are seeing. What Ronaldo does is what other players can do, Messi can do things you have never seen before.“
Read the full story, Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi: Who is the greatest? Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher disagree on Monday Night Football, on Sky Sports
Fact-checking & Additional resources:
Who is No 1 Messi or Ronaldo?
Who is better Ronaldo or Messi all time?
Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 790 goals in 1080 games in his entire career (0.73 goals per game). Meanwhile, Lionel Messi has scored 752 goals in 935 games (0.80 goals per game). … Also, Messi has provided 88 assists more than Ronaldo in his career.
Who is better dribbler Messi or Ronaldo?
Cristiano Ronaldo had 177 dribbles while Lionel Messi had 439 dribbles. … Messi can dribble all he wants, and still score enormous quantity of goals, while Ronaldo simply isn’t able to do that. Its still hard to say who is better but it is quite clear that Lionel Messi is the better dribbler of the two.
Who is faster Ronaldo or Messi?
You’ll have to look down all the way to seventh position to find Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo, who often used to be considered as the world’s fastest footballer. Now 32, the Portuguese forward has slowed down a tad, finding a a maximum of 33.6km per hour, while Barcelona’s Lionel Messi is in ninth (32.5km per hour).
Who is called God of Football?
Diego Maradona, commonly known as “The God of Football,” was one of the greatest football players of all time. On Earth, he witnessed both heaven and hell, and he died on Wednesday at the age of 60. Apart from scoring goals, Maradona was a player who committed mistakes.
Cristiano Ronaldo net worth is under immense speculation. As of 2022, Cristiano Ronaldo’s net worth is roughly $500 million, making him one of the richest athletes in the world. Additionally, he has taken in over $1bn in his career so far. Making him one of the richest athletes in history