Cristiano Ronaldo vs Lionel Messi: The winner across every FIFA 21 in-game attribute

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Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are the highest-rated players on FIFA 21.

It's that time of year again where EA Sports select their eagerly-anticipated player ratings for their annual video game release and the statistics continue to shine brightly on the mercurial pair.

Besides, EA could easily have been forgiven for handing Robert Lewandowski top spot after he helped inspire Bayern Munich to the treble with an astonishing 55-goal season.

Messi and Ronaldo on FIFA 21

But the duopoly of the 11-time-Ballon-d'Or-winning duo continues with Messi sneaking ahead by a nose-hair on 93, which is actually his first downgrade in four years, compared to Ronaldo's 92.

Nevertheless, the pair remain evenly-matched and EA have courteously given us more insight into Ronaldo and Messi's cards than simply the top-line stats on their Ultimate Team cards.

Besides, regular players will know that the likes of 'physical' and 'speed' are not simply plucked out of thin air, but rather formulated from a wider batch, 29 to be exact, of in-game attributes.

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The winner across every attribute

So, using the EA's very own 'comparison' feature, we've compared Messi and Ronaldo on FIFA 21 down to the granular details from finishing to crossing to aggression and more.

And of course, the big question is this: which player won the most attributes? Well, fear not, because we've revealed the winner in each area and the final score to boot, check it out:

In Game: Physical

Acceleration: Lionel Messi (91)

Agility: Lionel Messi (91)

Balance: Lionel Messi (95)

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Jumping: Cristiano Ronaldo (95)

Reactions: Cristiano Ronaldo (95)

Sprint speed: Cristiano Ronaldo (91)

Stamina: Cristiano Ronaldo (84)

Strength: Cristiano Ronaldo (78)

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In Game: Skill

Ball control: Lionel Messi (96)

Crossing: Lionel Messi (85)

Curve: Lionel Messi (93)

Dribbling: Lionel Messi (96)

Finishing: Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo (95) 

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Free kick: Lionel Messi (94)

Heading: Cristiano Ronaldo (90)

Long passing: Lionel Messi (91)

Long shots: Lionel Messi (94)

Defensive awareness: Lionel Messi (38)

Penalties: Cristiano Ronaldo (84)

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Short passing: Lionel Messi (91)

Shot power: Cristiano Ronaldo (94)

Sliding tackle: Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo (24)

Standing tackle: Lionel Messi (35)

Volleys: Lionel Messi (88)

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In Game: Mental

Aggression: Cristiano Ronaldo (63)

Interceptions: Lionel Messi (40)

Positioning: Cristiano Ronaldo (95)

Vision: Lionel Messi (95)

Composure: Lionel Messi (96)

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Final score: Lionel Messi 18-11 Cristiano Ronaldo

For the second game running, Messi is comfortably the more complete player on FIFA with Ronaldo having only closed the gap by a single point after a 19-10 scoreline last year.

But perhaps the most damning fact for Ronaldo is that he's only closed the gap to Messi by having drawn level with the Barcelona star with finishing and ermm... sliding tackles. 

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So, undoubted credit to Ronaldo for having boosted his finishing stats at 35 years young, but it speaks volumes that he's only been able to equalise with Messi as opposed to surpassing him.

Of course, it doesn't come close to settling a debate that will be discussing for decades and decades to come, but FIFA 21 seems to have a pretty clear opinion in the meantime.

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