Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi both staked a claim for the Ballon d’Or at the weekend with impressive hat-tricks.
Ronaldo scored all three goals as Real Madrid beat Celta Vigo to extend their winning run to 18 matches.
Meanwhile Messi helped Barcelona to a 5-1 win against city rivals Espanyol to keep Blaugrana two points behind Real.
Ronaldo has now scored 200 goals in just 178 La Liga appearances, his latest goal-scoring exploits have seen him set a new La Liga record of 23 hat-tricks.
The Portuguese international has been in sensational form this season and has netted 23 times in just 13 matches and the Santiago Bernabeu is proving to be excellent hunting ground for Ronaldo having scored in 17 consecutive home games.
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Barcelona’s star player continues to break records himself, the diminutive forward recently became La Liga’s highest scorer after breaking Telmo Zarra’s 59-year-old record of 251 goals.
The Argentine himself has managed 21 hat-tricks in Spain’s top flight but falls short of Ronaldo’s impressive goals to games ratio with 256 goals in 291 games, although Messi’s La Liga career started at the age of 17.
Messi and Ronaldo are both finalists for the Ballon d’Or along with Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.
Ronaldo will be looking to win the award for the second time in a row after unseating Messi for the first time in four years.
The Portuguese international’s latest performances will only reinforce his claim to the award.
In contrast to his rival, Ronaldo struggled at the World Cup scoring just once as Portugal finished third in their group.
Messi managed four goals at the tournament but scored none of them beyond the group stage.
The Argentine was awarded the Golden Ball for his efforts at the World Cup, however even FIFA’s under-fire President Sepp Blatter said: “I was surprised to see him chosen and [surprised] to see him come up and get the award.”
Ronaldo though is the better player on balance; at 6’2” he is superior to Messi in the air and has a better physique allowing him to shrug off the challenges that the diminutive forward struggles with.
While Messi has continued to impress this year, Ronaldo’s goalscoring record put him on another level and is unmatched by any other player on the planet.
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