The debate ‘Who is better Messi or Ronaldo’ has been raging on for so many years now. Some think that Messi is the greatest footballer of all time, while others argue that Ronaldo is the greatest soccer player ever.
Who is Cristiano Ronaldo?
Cristiano Ronaldo is widely regarded as one of the best soccer players of all time. Many vehemently argue and give reasons why Ronaldo is better than Messi.
Cristiano was born in Madeira, Portugal in 1985 to Maria Dolores dos Santos and Jose Dinis Aveiro. His childhood was spent in a largely working-class neighborhood.
He first knew about football through his father who was an equipment manager at a boy’s club. His early life was very hard as he shared a room with his siblings while his dad often drank much. To help support the family, the Portuguese player’s mother would work as a cook and cleaning person.
His father passed away in 2005 from kidney problems when he was playing for English giants Manchester United. This was a big blow for Ronaldo as he was said to be very close to his dad. It is said that he tried to convince his father to enter rehab and solve his drinking problem. However, his father didn’t listen to him.
Ronaldo already had developed a reputation as a great soccer player by the time he reached ten. His talent was soon spotted by Portuguese side Sporting Lisbon who signed him in 2001. Within a short time, he impressed the club and earned his senior debut in 2002. His performances started attracting interest from some of the biggest clubs in Europe. However, then-Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was determined to acquire the teenage sensation.
The Scottish football expert subsequently signed him, forking out £12.24 million to get a deal. That deal made him the most expensive teenager at that time in English football history.
Ferguson didn’t have to regret at all for paying such a hefty sum as Cristiano Ronaldo went on to become a prodigious success at the Theatre of Dreams. He showed his enormous talent early in the 2004 FA Cup final when he struck the first goal against Millwall on their way to a 3-0 victory. The 2007-08 season was one of the most successful campaigns for Cristiano Ronaldo.
United’s squad was full of famous soccer names at the time when Ronaldo joined the club. But he was so talented that he managed to find a way into the team. The Red Devils fans were greatly excited when he came onto the pitch against Bolton in August 2003. By the end of the season, he had earned 40 total appearances for the Red Devils, scoring six goals in the process.
Cristiano Ronaldo, one of the best strikers ever, smashed nine goals the following season before earning 12 strikes in 47 appearances across all competitions in 2005-06. He steadily improved his performances over the years as he bagged 17 goals in 2006-07.
His performances started attracting interest from other European heavyweights but he penned a new contract at Old Trafford. And in 2008, he shocked the whole world with his breathtaking displays. He struck an unbelievable 42 goals in a season, contributing a vital role to the Premier League and Champions League success for Sir Alex Ferguson’s side. And rightly, he ended up with the prestigious Ballon d’Or. His age at that time was only 23.
Ronaldo won three Premier League titles, two League Cups, an FA Cup, and a Champions League trophy during his time at Old Trafford, something fans always bring up whenever they provide a reason Ronaldo is better than Messi. After winning a lot of trophies at United, he left for Real Madrid in the summer of 2009. It was a record deal at that time as Real Madrid parted with £80 million to secure his
If anyone thought Ronaldo wouldn’t be able to replicate his England success at Real Madrid, then they all were proven wrong very soon. He achieved even more success at the Santiago Bernabeu as it was during his spell at Los Blancos that he claimed four Ballon d’Or awards as well as three European Golden Shoes.
Ronaldo further swelled his trophy cabinet in Spain, with the Portuguese star lifting an unbelievable four Champions League trophies, two La Liga titles, and two Spanish Cups. He also smashed 450 goals for the Spanish side in 438 appearances.
He was so brilliant that Juventus paid a record sum to secure his signature in 2018 even though he was over 30 years old at that time. And his levels didn’t drop at the Old Lady as he clocked up 81 goals in 98 league appearances for the Italian outfit.
Now he has returned to Manchester United and has been creating headlines again. He scored two goals on his debut against Newcastle United in the Premier League to make the Old Trafford crowd ecstatic. He has been scoring in his subsequent matches as well. This is even though he is 36 years old now.
Who is Lionel Messi?
Lionel Messi is one of the greatest footballers of all time. He has also won almost every big trophy
during his career so far. He is currently 34 but still, he is playing like a young footballer. His brilliance is often compared with Ronaldo, sparking the famous debate ‘Who is better Messi or Ronaldo’.
The Argentine recently led his national team Argentina to victory in the 2021 Copa America. Despite not being fully fit, he played the final and guided his side to a 1-0 win over Brazil. Angel Di Maria was the player who scored the goal to help Argentina to victory while Messi was the joint top scorer, with four goals to his name in the tournament.
Lionel Messi, one of the highest-paid soccer players in the current football world, began his football career at Newell’s Old Boys in 1995. Spanish giants Barcelona spotted his talent and signed him in 2000.
He quickly raised through its youth ranks and it didn’t take long for him to break into the first team. The Argentinian made his senior debut for the club when he was only 17. His breakthrough season was the 2005-06 season when he claimed eight goals and five assists in 25 matches. It was even though he remained sidelined in the latter stages due to injury. He was also spectacular in Barcelona’s memorable win over Real Madrid and against Chelsea in the European Cup.
Lionel Messi has achieved a lot of success with the Catalans over the following years. During his time at Barca, Messi lifted four Champions Leagues, claimed 10 La Liga titles, and won six Spanish Cups as well. He has also the distinction of winning six Ballon d’Or awards and six European Golden Shoes. The 34-year-old made over 770 appearances for the Catalans during his time at Camp Nou, smashing an incredible
672 goals and creating 305 assists.
Unfortunately, Barcelona who is one of the richest football clubs couldn’t extend his contract due to La Liga regulations. He subsequently signed for French giants Paris Saint-Germain.
11 reasons why Cristiano Ronaldo is better than Lionel Messi
1- Ronaldo has played in four different leagues
This is one of the biggest reasons Ronaldo is better than Messi. Messi has only played in Spain for the majority of his career. He was signed by one of the richest football clubs Barcelona when he was very young. The Argentine remained there for the majority of his career.
He even wanted to extend his stay at Camp Nou earlier this summer. However, La Liga regulations prevented that and he went on to
sign for PSG. It is too early to give an opinion about his success in France. Only time will tell how brilliant he can be outside of Spain.
Meanwhile, Ronaldo started his career in Portugal. Sporting Lisbon soon signed him, and his stocks tremendously grew in a very short time. His talent was later spotted by Manchester United. The Red Devils spent a record fee and brought him to Old Trafford. And within a short period, he carved out a big name for himself at the Theatre of Dreams.
Manchester United was quite a force in the Premier League at that time, boasting some of the biggest stars in the world. But he soon managed to become a key team member at United. His stint at Real Madrid was even more successful. He won several Ballon d’Or and lifted more European Cups with Los Blancos. After conquering both Spain and England, he headed to Italy to try his luck in Serie A. And success greeted him there as well, as he scored a lot of goals for the Old Lady. So, he has played in all the best leagues in the world and proved his abilities to everyone while Messi’s success has only been in Spain. Ronaldo has been challenging himself in different leagues and clubs.
2- International success
Ronaldo is far ahead of Messi at the international level. The Argentine is behind in terms of goals, or contributions to the team. This is another good reason why Ronaldo is better than Messi. The 36-year-old has scored 111 goals in 180 appearances for Portugal. He recently surpassed Ali Daei, making him the player with the most international goals in soccer history. Meanwhile, Messi has smashed 79 goals in 153 appearances for Argentina.
Ronaldo made his first appearance for the national side in August 2003, when he left the bench in a friendly match against Kazakhstan. Since then, he has always been performing well for the national side. He has always stepped up whenever his team needed him the most.
During Euro 2012, the Netherlands were aiming to progress to the quarter-finals and they needed two goals in the match against Portugal. They got ahead due to a brilliant goal from Rafael van der Vaart. However, Ronaldo soon managed to restore parity. He also added another goal in the 74th minute to become the hero of the match.
His greatest contributions to his country came in the Euro 2016. He struck two goals and earned an assist in the do-or-die match against Hungary. And then in the semifinal, he scored a goal with a fantastic header against Wales before Nani also earned his name on the scoresheet to help Portugal reach the final. Even though he left the pitch on a stretcher during the final, the Selecao went on to win the European Championship after Eder scored an extra-time winner against France.
3- Performance under pressure
Ronaldo has given some of the best performances for his team. Whenever they have needed his services the most, he has produced the performances. He has been delivering at crucial moments both for the club and country, which is another important reason Ronaldo is better than Messi.
It was the quarterfinal of the Champions League in 2016. Real Madrid were massively at a disadvantage for the second leg of the tie against Wolfsburg as they had suffered a 2-0 defeat in the first match. However, Cristiano Ronaldo turned the tables around in the second match. He scored a hat-trick to condemn their opponents out of the competition. That was the year when Real Madrid ultimately went on to win the coveted trophy, defeating Atletico Madrid in the final.
A similar situation happened in the 2019 Champions League when Juventus came up against Atletico Madrid. The Old Lady were beaten 2-0 in the first leg at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium Best football stadium in the world. Atletico were in a hugely dominant position to win the tie, but Ronaldo had other plans. He single-handedly took the game away from his opponents as he struck three incredible goals to knock them out of the competition.
Ronaldo has achieved such feats on the international stage as well for Portugal. He delivered such performances in the 2018 World Cup as well. Spain struck three goals but still, they couldn’t get away with the full points as Ronaldo also scored a hat-trick.
4- A complete player
There is no doubt that Messi is skillful, but Ronaldo is a more complete player. Consider strength, athleticism, and durability, and you will find that Ronaldo is ahead of his rival.
To be regarded as the greatest player of all time, a footballer needs to be a complete player, and Ronaldo fits that category well. The ex-Manchester United player is good with both his feet, he can send screamers across the field, and he can chip it over the defense. He possesses a lot of weapons in his arsenal and he can do almost everything.
It should also be noted that he is known for his areal prowess as countless times he has scored with his brilliant headers. His spot jump is amazing to behold. All these are great reasons to prove that Ronaldo is better than Messi.
One of the differences between Messi and Ronaldo is that their mentality is very different. Messi is technically gifted and a football genius, but mentally Ronaldo is stronger & has a fighting spirit in him. The Portugal international is extremely determined to be the best in the world. To keep himself healthy and physically fit, he takes a great amount of care.
He always prioritizes his football and so never compromises on his training and diet. Ronaldo has proved his abilities numerous times. He stepped up whenever his team needed him and delivered what was required of him. His determination is one of the top reasons why Ronaldo is better than Messi.
Ronaldo, one of the most famous football players, has also built a legacy that is more supreme than that of his opponent. Both players have a lot of followers around the world, but the Portuguese star’s philanthropic activities have taken him a little ahead of the Argentine.
The two players have contributed heavily to the football world. However, they have also engaged in plenty of activities for human betterment, such as playing their part in children’s development and relief funds, etc.
Ronaldo, one of the most famous football players of all time, donates blood as well as promotes the cause of blood donation. This is another reason Ronaldo is better than Messi.
7- Big game performer
This is one of the most persuasive reasons why Ronaldo is better than Messi. Ronaldo has the distinction of scoring in the most Champions League finals (3) and lifted four European Cups with Los Blancos; and another with Manchester United.
He has been performing incredibly well in the elite European competition, with the Portuguese averaging 10 goals every season in the European Cup. He also performs very well during crucial moments for the national side. For example, he helped the national team to progress to the knockouts during the 2016 Euros before also scoring and assisting in the semifinal victory over Wales.
Ronaldo is a player famous for delivering good performances when there is a lot of pressure on him to do well. On the other hand, Messi seems to struggle when there is a great expectation of him. This is another reason Ronaldo is better than Messi.
We can take the example of Mess’s retirement announcement after he couldn’t lead Argentina to success in Copa America. He is regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, so it was expected of him to not show this weak establishment of character.
Ronaldo is very different from Messi in this regard as he thrives under pressure. He has performed incredibly well when there was a huge expectation of him.
Ronaldo is faster than Messi. We have seen the Portuguese star beating the opposition’s defenders with his amazing pace. On the other hand, Messi is a great dribbler but doesn’t boast a great pace.
Even though he has now reached 36 years of age, Ronaldo still boasts a great pace. That is an incredible feat for a footballer of his age.
The Portugal international showed his great pace on his second debut at Manchester United against Newcastle. As per Opta, the amazing footballer posted 34.20 km/h with only Aaron Wan-Bissaka slightly quicker in United’s victory over the Magpies. He was also the standout performer that day at the Theatre of Dreams as he scored twice to help his side win by 4-1.
When it comes to penalties, Ronaldo is better than Messi. The Portugal international often converts his spot kicks when the pressure is very high. For example, he scored from the spot three times at Euro 2020. He is always willing to step up in pressure situations and take up the responsibility. On the other hand, Messi is not strong on converting penalties in pressure times.
Ronaldo has taken a total of 166 penalties and has converted an incredible 139 of them. So, he has a penalty conversion rate of 83.7 percent. Meanwhile, the Argentine has taken a total of 129 penalties and has scored 100 of them. So, he has a conversion rate of 77.5 percent.
When it comes to heading, Ronaldo is far better than the Argentine. The Portuguese star is well known for his aerial dominance, while Messi is not a major threat on aerial balls in the box. This is also a big reason Ronaldo is better than Messi.
Ronaldo is not a very tall footballer, with the Portuguese boasting a height of 187cm. However, that doesn’t seem to matter much as he has an incredible leap. So many times we have seen the 36-year-old heading the ball home after rising above the crowd. He has been earning admiration for his headers since his early days at Manchester United. He can score goals in many different ways, but one of his lethal methods is through his headers.
Ronaldo, who is one of the highest-paid footballers, is a much more marketable footballer than Messi. This is due to his amazing footballing abilities and excellent style.
The Portuguese recently reached 300 million followers on Instagram, making him the most followed person on the social media platform. The football superstar can make more than half a million dollars per sponsored post. However, he also boasts very lucrative sponsorship deals with the likes of Adidas and Nike, another huge source to swell his bank accounts.
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