Recently more and more people have been turning to the ‘most complete’ player excuse, as a reason for Cristiano Ronaldo’s superiority.
Just when it seemed to me that there was nearly an anonymous understanding in the world of football that Barcelona’s little gem Lionel Messi is without doubt the greatest player of his generation.
This article is not meant to convince anyone as to who the better player is, as I highly doubt Messi or Ronaldo fans are that easily predisposed to change their minds.
The stats, despite typical being very misrepresentative as a standard of measurement, say it all.
If it was all down to the stats, there would really be no point in arguing over who the better player is, as regardless of how you twist the stats to better represent your favorite player, in the end everyone knows that - stat-wise - Messi has been on his own planet for a while.
As if the stats weren’t enough to end the debate, the trophy cabinets of both players, individual or collective, would suggest the same trend as the stats. Coincidence? No I think not, but that doesn’t matter, right? As there is always a better way to judge who the better player is.
Seems that many people have decided that the way to judge who the better player is between Messi and Ronaldo is to analyse the completeness of each one’s game.
I personally think this is the most ludicrous phrase to utter when comparing two football players, and that is all down to the simple fact that ‘completeness’ as fans and pundits freely use it, really has everything to do with genetics, than it does with football.
If Lebron James converted to football today, he would already be half way to being a more ‘complete’ player than Messi, despite having a football IQ that is probably close to zero. He’s tall, strong, and fast, and surely with some training, he could be better in the air than almost all players shorter than him.
You realise just how outrageous it is to use such a phrase to claim that a football player is better than another, when you realise that Yaya Toure is probably the most complete football player there is out there currently.
He can play comfortably as a center defender, defensive midfielder, attacking midfielder and, despite not haven been tested as a striker, I doubt you would find many people who would question his ability in front of goal.
He’s big, tall, fast, strong, can shoot with both legs, is good with free kicks, is virtually guaranteed to win an aerial duel, and unlike Cristiano, he doesn’t go down from soft challenges.
Despite being that complete of a player; more complete than the likes of the holy trinity of Messi, Iniesta, and Xavi, I don’t think you would find many people arguing for Toure as a superior player to any of those three.
Balotelli is also a more ‘complete’ player than Messi is. He’s got similar traits to Yaya Toure, except he’s not as versatile. Would you ever claim Balotelli is better than Messi? I don’t think so.
Do not get me wrong, I’m not out to question Ronaldo’s ability.
He’s a very fine footballer that can win matches at any given time. I just think it’s almost an admission of Messi’s superiority, when the only excuse you can come up with as to why Ronaldo is better is that he is more ‘complete’. Surely he is, but that does not make him better.
In fact that argument is similar to embracing the outdated idea that taller, and stronger players make better footballers, despite all the evidence from the sizes of the best footballers of our generation contrasting that view.
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