La Liga nail their colours to the mast over Lionel Messi v Cristiano Ronaldo free-kick debate

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Lionel Messi scored two direct free-kicks in a La Liga match for the very first time on Saturday night.

That’s quite a surprising statistic when you consider just how deadly he is from dead-ball situations.

Concede a free-kick anywhere within 30 yards of goal with Messi on the pitch and you’re in trouble.

Following his two magnificent free-kicks against Espanyol on Saturday, some football fans have come out on social media and proclaimed the Argentina international as the greatest free-kick taker of all time.

However, there have been many wonderful free-kick takers down the years though, including the likes of David Beckham and Juninho Pernambucano.

Cristiano Ronaldo is another player, of course, who has scored many fabulous free-kicks throughout his illustrious career.

The Juventus superstar’s back catalogue of stunning free-kicks would rival any footballer in history.

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But La Liga have come out and nailed their colours to the mast with their tweet following Messi’s exploits at the Estadi Cornellà-El Prat.

Alongside a short video of some of Messi’s best ever free-kicks, @LaLigaEN tweeted: “Name a better free-kick taker. We'll wait.”

There you have it: they clearly believe Messi is out on his own right now when it comes to taking free-kicks.

Sorry, Cristiano.

However, this tweet was like a red rag to a bull for Ronaldo’s loyal fans, who couldn’t help but react in the replies…

In truth, there’s very little to separate Messi and Ronaldo when it comes to free-kicks.

Prior to Messi’s brace against Espanyol, Ronaldo was the only La Liga player since 2010 to score multiple free-kicks (of 25+ metres) in a single match, and that was for Real Madrid back in May 2011.

Messi had never matched that particular achievement until now.

Messi, with that magic wand of a left foot, strikes his free-kicks with power and deadly accuracy.

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Ronaldo strikes his free-kicks with even more power than Messi - and gets significantly more spin on the ball - but perhaps lacks the same precision of his long-term rival.

Like the rest of their attributes, football fans will continue to debate which player out of Messi and Ronaldo is (and eventually, was) better at free-kicks.

It’s all down to personal opinion, at the end of the day, and La Liga have been brave enough to give theirs.

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