Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are infinitely different players.
Despite being the two frontrunners for GOAT (great of all-time) status, their playing styles are so different that a clear dividing line is drawn between their fans, detractors and critics.
Messi is lauded by football fans who enjoy the artistry of his subtle movements, slalom-like dribbling and uncanny ability to spot a pass that nobody else seems capable of seeing.
Fans of Ronaldo, on the other hand, celebrate him for being the ultimate footballing machine, seemingly a jack of all trades and a master of all them with his peak physical condition.
But while Messi will always be the better passer and Ronaldo will always be the better header of a ball, there’s no denying that both players are still world-class at the attributes of the others.
Messi and Ronaldo’s qualities
Don’t worry, we’re not somehow pretending that Ronaldo isn’t a remarkable dribbler and that Messi isn’t also maintaining an elite-level physique.
So, it’s only natural that Messi sometimes shows flashes of Ronaldo and vice verse, which has been proven in a fascinating recent video by YouTuber ‘Magic Messi’.
If you’re thinking that usernames lends itself to bias then, yes, you’re right, but this 10-minute compilation credits both players in the way Messi channeled his inner Ronaldo.
When Messi scored like Ronaldo
That’s because the video shows Messi’s individual highlights from the second leg of the 2016 Supercopa de España, which Barcelona won 3-0 (5-0) over Sevilla at Camp Nou.
Arda Turn, of all players, scored a brace during the win, but the title of the video will tell you about the other goal-scorer: “The Day He Played Like Lionel Messi But Scored Like Cristiano Ronaldo”
That’s right, Messi dropped a performance typical of his own brilliance, only to pop up with a goal you would usually associate with his bitter rival.
You can watch the full highlights down below and skip to 9:14 to see the goal in question:
Why on earth isn’t that header talked about more often???
Ok, sure, it’s slightly hyperbolic from the commentator to say it was better than Messi’s header in the 2009 Champions League final, but it wasn’t far behind it.
While it might not fly into the net like some sort of heat-seeking missile, it was the type of leap against a the defender that would have the footballing world on its knees if Ronaldo had executed it.
Plus, it raises two fingers to suggestions that Messi isn’t a good header of the ball and it’s hardly a criticism to say that Ronaldo is better because, well, he’s probably the best in the world at it.
But for someone who is considerably smaller and with a far different skill set, it’s credit to Messi that he remains world-class at even the traits he isn’t renowned for. Take a bow, Lionel.
- Analysis shows Messi ageing ‘like a fine wine’
- The 25 most valuable footballers back in 2004
- 11 players who were rich before football