Football

Messi vs Ronaldo: Who is the greatest?

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I may just be adding fuel to the fire by writing this piece; but alas everyone gets a say. The biggest debate among football fans has continued to grow as both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have pilled in goal after goal.

At times it seems Ronaldo is ahead, and then Messi scores a hat-trick and then Ronaldo. They have continued their remarkable game of one-upping each other to a point where no other footballer can reach them.

They are royalty among the royals and each has left a significant mark on a generation of football fans. At this point it may not even be worth arguing, but I still want my say.

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FINISHING

Messi: Undoubtedly one of the finest finishers of this generation Lionel Messi has the ability to slot, power or chip the ball home. He possesses a deadly touch in the final third and has shown on many big occasions.

Time and time again he has scored magical goals in the biggest games. His affair with the spectacular, majestic and the beautiful never seems to end. 10/10

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Ronaldo: Each year it seems like CR7 scores more than the year before. As he has aged he has transformed his role to achieve the highest level.

Known in his younger days for unstoppable solo runs and ridiculous long shots, he has know become the best poacher in world football. His anticipation and attacking awareness is unmatched. He possesses a venomous right foot that has terrorised opposing keepers far too many times to remember. 10/10

WEAK FOOT

Messi: As he has improved Messi has become far more confident with his right, indeed this season he has scored so of his finer goals on his right.

His magical star dust touch is not quite fully replicated on his right foot but at this point it does not really matter whether its right or left; you can't stop him. 7.5/10

Ronaldo: CR7 may just be the best two footed player on the planet. His first touch on either football is impeccable.

He can rip them from 25 yards with his left almost as well as his right; a stunner against Sevilla in 2013 comes to mind. And like with Messi it does really matter which foot he shoots with; you can't stop him. 9/10

LONG SHOTS

Messi: There was a time where I would have written that Messi rarely scores from outside the box that just is not true anymore. Little Leo has a remarkable ability to pick corners from almost anywhere on the field.

His long shoots lack the power, but they have a knack for curling into the back of the net. He may be the only player in the world that can score so effortlessly outside the box. 8.5/10

Ronaldo: Screamer after screamer after screamer. Ronaldo has tortured keepers from long range for his entire career.

He has an excellent ability to dip and swerve the ball which absolutely bamboozles opposing keepers. His ability from long range has never been questioned. 9/10

FREE KICKS

Messi: It his hard to describe a Messi free kick. He applies such curve that it defies the laws of physics. He has an uncanny ability to wrap the ball around helpless defensive walls and past frozen goalkeepers. 9/10

Ronaldo: Ronny has fallen a long way from where his free kick abilities once were. This season he went 50+ free kicks without a goal.

He is far cry away from the man that scored absolute blinders against Arsenal and Portsmouth back in his United days. He still possess that ability it is just far more rare.

Interestingly he is tied for the most free kick goals in La Liga on 16 with Roberto Carlos. 8/10

DRIBBLING

Messi: Quite simply the most unstoppable dribbler of all time. Maradona, Garrincha and Ronaldinho step aside. Leo undeniably possess the most magisterial (thanks Ray Hudson) control ever seen in the game.

He glides past defenders as if they weren't there. It does not matter if there he is two, three or even four to beat. No player has scored more goals when dribbling by helpless defenders then this genius. 10/10   

Ronaldo: As a youngster Ronaldo possessed many of the same traits that make Messi so good with the ball at his feet. However CR7 developed along a different path and his technique is quite different.

He does not have that tight control, instead he uses various flicks and tricks to beat his man. Although not as effective as Messi, his lightning fast stopovers and tricks are still a sight to behold. 7.5/10

HEADING & PHYSICAL TRAITS

Messi: This man is so good that his physical detriments hardly even matter. And despite his small frame Messi has a incredible way of staying on his feet. He is hardly pushed off the ball in 1v1s and rarely to you see him take a tumble.

His lower body strength is excellent and his balance and agility make his the most elusive footballer around. Additionally, Messi, may not score the same amount as Ronaldo in the air put he hardly ever misses headers that do come his way. 8/10 

Ronaldo: You can not put the athleticism of this man into words. He is the best and most complete athlete in the game. Ronaldo has worked tirelessly to become one of the most gifted athletes on the planet.

His supersonic pace is only half of the matter. He possess an superhuman leap that has helped him become the most prolific header of the ball the game has ever seen. There is no way to stop this man once he has taken off. 10/10

PASSING & TEAM PLAY

Messi: Perhaps the best passer in the game. Never has the world seen such a gifted creator. His assist numbers simply fly off the charts. For a man who already scores 50 a season, you think he wouldn't need 20+ assists as well.

His dinked left football through balls are the most deadly I ever seen. he routinely makes the most key passes among players in Europe's top five leagues and as maintained a 80 percent pass completion his entire career. 10/10

Ronaldo: Cristiano has been publicly criticised throughout his career for being too selfish. Although he is known to hang out to the ball too long or shoot from outrageous distances you can't help but notice CR7's improvements in this area.

Although his passing is not close to Messi's levels is assist totals are not far off. In fact this season he ranks second in La Liga on the assists charts. All though he lacks range and accuracy to his passing Ronaldo is still very good at creating chances for his teammates. 7/10

OVERALL

Messi: 63/70

Ronaldo: 60.5/70

In the end Messi takes the crown. And rightfully so. Although Ronaldo has topped him the last two years, it is almost impossible to deny Messi's genius any longer. Leo is the greatest player to have ever walked onto a football pitch.

He weaves magic it the most ordinary of situations, and he carves his brilliance into every pitch he steps on. It is a huge credit to Ronaldo that he has kept up with and even surpassed at times a player like Messi.

For that reason I believe that both of these astonishing footballers are the greatest to ever play the beautiful game.

Who do you think is the best in the business? Let us know below!

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Topics:
Football
La Liga
Lionel Messi
Cristiano Ronaldo
Real Madrid
Ballon d'Or
UEFA Champions League
Barcelona

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