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Messi or Ronaldo – Who is Truly the Best

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  • Post last modified:February 24, 2024

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In this post, we will check out, Messi or Ronaldo, who is truly the best player.

In the world of football, few debates ignite as much passion, analysis, and endless discussion as the comparison between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Both have dominated the beautiful game for over a decade, collecting various individual awards, breaking numerous records, and leading their teams to glory on both domestic and international stages.

As fans and experts dissect their unparalleled careers, the question remains: Who is the best?

This blog post delves deep into the heart of this debate, comparing their achievements, style of play, impact on their teams, and their contributions off the pitch to offer a comprehensive look at two of football’s greatest-ever talents.

Let’s check out this ultimate guide to understand and find out who is truly the best player between Messi and Ronaldo:-

Messi or Ronaldo – Who Is Truly The Best

Stats show why Messi is truly the best

Lionel Messi, through the lens of statistics and beyond, emerges as the unparalleled maestro of football, eclipsing contemporaries with his unparalleled skill set and profound influence on the pitch.

Unlike Cristiano Ronaldo, Messi’s superior decision-making and unparalleled Efficiency Per Match (EPM) underline his pivotal role in steering his team to victory, while his knack for orchestrating opportunities elevates his assist tally above Ronaldo’s.

His versatility shines through his successful adaptation to diverse tactical roles, notably as a false nine under Pep Guardiola, showcasing his ability to excel across multiple facets of the game.

Messi’s leadership and impact are further solidified by his collection of four Ballon d’Or awards, underscoring his sustained brilliance.

Although Ronaldo boasts a formidable goal tally, Messi’s higher season scoring average and knack for clinching goals during critical junctures underscore his decisive edge.

Beyond scoring, Messi’s accolades, including six European Golden Shoes, attest to his comprehensive contributions to the sport. Messi stands as a testament to the fusion of exceptional talent, strategic acumen, and altruism, cementing his legacy as a football legend.

Messi is a better team player than Ronaldo

Image Credit- Evening Standard

The conversation around whether Lionel Messi outshines Cristiano Ronaldo in terms of being a more effective team player is a topic of much discussion.

Esteemed BT Sport analyst and revered Liverpool icon, Steven Gerrard, posits that Messi’s inclination towards teamwork eclipses Ronaldo’s.

This perspective is bolstered by Messi’s impressive collection of titles, a feat that some attribute to his long-standing affiliation with a Barcelona team considered by many as unparalleled in football history.

This cohesive unit, having honed their skills together since childhood, operates with a near-telepathic understanding, a stark contrast to Ronaldo’s experience.

Messi’s tenure at Barcelona was marked by his partnerships with some of the greatest talents of our age, including forwards Neymar Jr. and Luis Suarez, and midfield maestros Xavi Hernandez and Andrés Iniesta.

Drawing an analogy from basketball, Messi’s role is likened to Tim Duncan’s with the Spurs, a testament to his team-oriented play, whereas Ronaldo is compared to LeBron James during his time in Cleveland, highlighting his status as the linchpin of his team.

Despite Ronaldo’s formidable presence on the international stage, underscored by his superior goalscoring record and pivotal role in Portugal’s triumph at the 2016 European Championship, Messi’s prowess extends beyond scoring.

Renowned for his generosity on the field, Messi often opts to assist when it benefits the team, showcasing an unparalleled vision for the game that encompasses both attack and defense.

This adaptability suggests Messi could thrive in any setting, including Real Madrid, with flexibility not as readily associated with Ronaldo. This debate underscores the distinct yet remarkable contributions of two of football’s greatest, each with their unique strengths and unparalleled dedication to the sport.

Style of Play

In the epic showdown between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, each player brings a unique flair to the pitch, captivating fans worldwide.

Messi, with his extraordinary left-footed prowess, weaves through defenses with unparalleled dribbling skills, painting the field with his visionary passes and orchestrating the game’s rhythm like a maestro.

His knack for creating space and connecting with teammates is nothing short of legendary. Contrastingly, Ronaldo embodies the quintessence of athleticism and versatility.

A maestro in his own right, he dazzles with his adeptness at converting opportunities from the left wing with his favored right foot, coupled with a heading ability that towers above the rest.

Ronaldo’s physicality and technical finesse make the game more exhilarating, transforming it into a spectacle of speed, strength, and dynamism.

His stature as a formidable 6’1″ tower of Portuguese might render him nearly unstoppable, blending a cocktail of breakneck pace, mesmerizing dribbling, and potent shooting that strikes fear into the heart of any defense.

Ronaldo’s adaptability and athleticism render him a perfect match for the modern game, setting him apart in the timeless debate of Ronaldo versus Messi.

Why Ronaldo is truly the best player

Image Credit- Goal

Cristiano Ronaldo shines as an unparalleled titan in the realm of soccer, his name synonymous with excellence and a benchmark for aspiring athletes.

His unique blend of creativity ignites the field, crafting opportunities with a visionary’s precision, while his dynamic agility and unmatched speed dismantle defenses with ease.

Ronaldo’s scoring prowess is unrivaled, boasting an ability to find the net from any angle, complemented by his formidable presence in aerial combat, making him a relentless force in headers.

Ascending to global acclaim at a young age, Ronaldo has consistently delivered performances that capture championships, his evolution as a team player showcasing a deep connection with legends like Wayne Rooney.

His arsenal includes an impressive knack for improvisation, leaving defenders bewildered, backed by deep-rooted confidence and an unwavering belief in his extraordinary capabilities.

Merging strength with agility, Ronaldo dominates both on the ground and in the air, a testament to his comprehensive physicality.

His technical finesse across dribbling, passing, and shooting reflects a profound mastery over soccer’s fundamentals, with versatility that makes him indispensable, adapting seamlessly to the game’s evolving dynamics.

A natural leader, Ronaldo elevates the game of those around him, consistently delivering exceptional performances across various clubs and competitions.

While comparisons with the legendary Lionel Messi are inevitable, Ronaldo’s distinctive combination of robust physicality and adaptability arguably positions him as the quintessential icon of modern soccer.

His legacy, marked by astounding achievements and an indelible impact on the sport, cements his status among the greatest, transcending the bounds of subjectivity.

The International Criterion

Image Credit- Mundo Deportivo

In the grand tapestry of soccer, the debate between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo remains a compelling narrative, especially when examining their international careers.

Both icons have illuminated the football stage with their club achievements, yet their international legacies offer a fascinating contrast.

Cristiano Ronaldo, with an impressive tally of 123 international goals, eclipses Messi’s commendable 104.

Ronaldo’s cabinet boasts two major international accolades, including UEFA Euro 2016 and the 2018-19 UEFA Nations League. Messi, on the other hand, recently clinched the coveted 2022 FIFA World Cup, a crowning glory that complements his Copa America and Finalissima victories.

While Ronaldo has outshone Messi in terms of Golden Boots in international tournaments, Messi’s unique record of scoring in every round of the 2022 FIFA World Cup and his unparalleled eight assists across five different World Cups underscore his extraordinary influence.

Despite Ronaldo’s numerical superiority in goals and trophies, Messi’s World Cup triumph arguably tips the scale in his favor, highlighting the essence of their international achievements.

The Rivalry Between The Goats

In the electrifying world of soccer, the rivalry between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo stands unparalleled, captivating fans across the globe.

For years, these football giants have not just competed on the field but have also ignited passionate debates among fans, all pondering over who reigns supreme as the greatest of all time.

Their illustrious careers, which began at the prestigious clubs of FC Barcelona and Manchester United, were meticulously sculpted by the legendary Pep Guardiola and Sir Alex Ferguson, leading to a plethora of individual honors that include multiple Ballons d’Or and Champions League victories, among others.

Messi, with his mesmerizing technical skills and the ability to conjure moments of magic, has been lauded for his extraordinary ball control and visionary playmaking.

Ronaldo, on the other hand, has captivated the world with his unparalleled physical prowess and an unwavering commitment to excellence, making him one of football’s most formidable scorers.

Despite their contrasting styles, the mutual admiration between the two legends is undeniable, often highlighted in their respectful acknowledgments of each other’s talents and achievements.

As the curtain begins to close on their remarkable careers, the debate over who is the ultimate footballer persists. Yet, what remains indisputable is their monumental impact on soccer.

Their intense rivalry has not only elevated their levels of performance but has also inspired aspiring athletes worldwide, securing their legacy as two of the most influential figures in the history of the sport.

Let us take a deep look at the stats of how the two have dominated football with facts and figures.

Messi or Ronaldo – Who Is Truly The Best In Terms of Club Goals for Each Season

SeasonCristiano RonaldoLionel Messi
2002-035NA
2003-046NA
2004-0591
2005-06128
2006-072317
2007-084216
2008-092638
2009-103347
2010-115353
2011-126073
2012-135560
2013-145141
2014-156158
2015-165141
2016-174254
2017-184445
2018-192851
2019-203731
2020-213638
2021-222411
2022-231721
2023-242411
Total739715

Stats show that Ronaldo has scored more club goals than Messi, but it’s also a fact that Ronaldo has played two more seasons than his rivals Lionel Messi.

While stats show Ronaldo scored more goals than Messi, in terms of average Messi is far better than Ronaldo. Messi has been a record goalscorer in a single season scoring 73 goals in 2011-12.

Ronaldo’s highest number of goals in a single season was 61, which he accomplished in the 2014-15 season. He was also the first player to score more than 50 goals consecutively for six years.

Ronaldo is no more impressive in recent years since he departs from the Manchester United club. While Ronaldo joined Al-Nassr, Messi had shown no sign of stopping.

Messi or Ronaldo – Who Is Truly The Best In Terms of Club Assists For Each Season

SeasonCristiano RonaldoLionel Messi
2009-10711
2010-111621
2011-121529
2012-131214
2013-141411
2014-152127
2015-161523
2016-171116
2017-18818
2018-191019
2019-20525
2020-21512
2021-22314
2022-23419
2023-241111
Total214313

Assists are something where Messi completely dethrones Ronaldo, the stats clearly show that Messi is much superior to Ronaldo while assisting his teammates over the years. He makes players better with his involvement on the pitch.

Messi’s scoring capabilities and creating chances on the field finally settled the debate that which player is the best, while Ronaldo also had multiple assists on his name the difference is still clear with the above facts and the figures.

Messi or Ronaldo – Who Is Truly The Best In Terms of All-time Champions League Stats

Champions League statCristiano RonaldoLionel Messi
Games played183163
Goals scored140129
Goals ratio per game0.770.79

Ronaldo is an all-time leading goalscorer in the Champions League with 183 goals and that’s why he is considered Mr. Champions League, on the other side Messi is just behind Ronaldo with 163 goals.

As far as stats are concerned Messi has a better goal ratio than Ronaldo in the Champions League. There is a great chance that the Argentine will overtake the Portuguese if he continues to score goals at the same pace in the coming years.

Messi or Ronaldo – Who Is Truly The Best In Terms of World Cup Stats

World Cup statsCristiano RonaldoLionel Messi
Games played2226
Goals scored813
Goals ratio per game0.380.50

World Cup performance for Messi is astonishing in recent years comparing it with Ronaldo.

Lionel Messi scored more goals at the World Cup and won the World Cup in 2022 while Ronaldo’s search for the World Cup is almost over after Portugal crashed out against Morocco in the World Cup quarter-finals in 2022.

Messi also won the 2 golden balls in different world cups which shows his dominance and his performance on the big stage.

Messi or Ronaldo – Who Is Truly The Best In Terms of International Stats

International StatCristiano RonaldoLionel Messi
International appearance205180
International goals scored128106
Goals ratio per game0.620.59

Ronaldo and Messi both are good at the international level, Ronaldo won a major trophy with Portugal, while Messi won the World Cup and Copa America with Argentina.

Ronaldo is the highest goal-scorer in international matches however it’s just a matter of time before Messi will break this record soon.

Messi is now a record goalscorer for Argentina. Messi broke Batistuta’s record of 54 goals for Argentina at the Copa America in 2017.

Career Titles

Competition RonaldoMessi
World Cup01
UEFA Champions League54
League titles712
European Championship / Copa America11
Nations League / Finalissima11
Olympics01
National Cups47
Club World Cup43
Total2230

Messi and Ronaldo have won multiple trophies during their career. Leo dominates things when it comes to league titles and world cups, while Ronaldo dominates in the Champions League.

Messi has won 11 league trophies while Ronaldo won 7 league titles in their career. Leo is a player who stayed in Barcelona, enjoying a great time at PSG and dominated the league titles completely while Ronaldo won League titles in England, Spain, and Italy.

Ronaldo has won 5 Champions Leagues in his career while Messi on the other hand has 4 Champions League trophies.

Individual Accolades

AwardCristiano RonaldoLionel Messi
Ballon d’Or58
Best FIFA Men’s Player23
UEFA Player of the Year43
European Golden Shoe46
World Cup Golden Ball02
League Player of the Year 46
FIFPro World XI1517

Messi and Ronaldo have dominated every league, competition, and tournament over the past decade, in the same way, they have dominated the awards as well.

Messi and Cristiano are the two players with the most Ballon d’Or in the history of football. Leo winning the 2021 Ballon D’or helped him to go ahead of his rival. We have to wait and see who will come on top when both the legends say goodbye to their careers.

Ronaldo had more FIFA’s ‘The Best’ awards and has won more UEFA Best Player of the Year on multiple occasions, while Messi has won more League Player of the Year compared to Ronaldo.

Messi has won more European Golden Shoes than Ronaldo, this shows Messi’s performance when compared to Europe’s top 5 leagues, but we can’t deny the fact that they have been in the FIFPro World XI more than 14 times in their illustrious career, which shows how close the battle is.

So, Who’s the GOAT?

lionel messi vs cristiano ronaldo

The perennial debate on the greatest footballer of all time often zeroes in on two legendary names: Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Both icons have etched their names into football history, securing every significant trophy for both club and country. Yet, the question of supremacy remains divisive.

Messi, often hailed as the maestro of a counter-attacking style, contrasts with Ronaldo’s versatility, showcasing unparalleled adaptability across various playstyles and defensive challenges.

The distinction between their greatness, however, seemingly crystallized with the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Messi’s leadership in driving Argentina to a triumphant victory marked a pivotal moment, while Ronaldo faced a heartbreaking exit as Portugal succumbed to Morocco in the quarter-finals.

Analyzing their career statistics, Messi narrowly eclipses Ronaldo with a superior goals-per-game ratio and a remarkable capacity for assists, indicating a significant contribution to his team’s offensive plays through both scoring and facilitating.

Messi’s prowess in dribbling and passing further distinguishes him, although Ronaldo’s knack for creating scoring opportunities remains unmatched.

Despite their shared history of club and country achievements, the FIFA World Cup victory stands as a unique jewel in Messi’s crown, a feat Ronaldo sought but eluded.

Ronaldo’s early claim to the GOAT title, fortified by leading Portugal to the 2016 UEFA European Championship and the 2019 UEFA Nations League, underscores the relentless debate.

Ultimately, the quest to crown the greatest footballer—Messi or Ronaldo—persists, fueled by their unparalleled contributions to football.

However, Messi’s World Cup win in 2022 has certainly settled the debate that Messi is the greatest of all time putting behind some of the greatest players of the different eras which include Pele, Maradona, and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Kamran Khan

A geek, who just loves to update sports, gaming, and tech updates from around the world to the other geeks out there. A passionate sports lover, a tech geek from the mind, and a gamer from the heart.

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