Everybody has an opinion on the Cristiano Ronaldo v Lionel Messi debate, although the general consensus appears to be that the Real Madrid star has been required to work harder of the two throughout his illustrious career to scale the lofty heights he has.
Messi, meanwhile, is widely regarded as the more naturally talented of world football’s standout superstars.
A South American street footballer who honed his extraordinary skills as a competitive youngster in Rosario before moving to Barcelona at the age of 13, it seems as if Messi was born to play football.
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While it would be wrong to say Ronaldo doesn’t possess natural talent - he patently does - there’s no doubt the 31-year-old has squeezed out every last drop of potential he was born with.
And that’s credit to the forward’s unparalleled work ethic. Few top-level players - if any - train harder or look after themselves as well as Ronaldo.
David Alaba compares Messi and Ronaldo
This school of thought has been backed up by Bayern Munich’s versatile defender David Alaba, who compared the two players during a Facebook interview with fans.
“I like them both,” Alaba said, per Spanish newspaper AS. “Cristiano Ronaldo works very hard, day by day, hour by hour, for his success. And Messi? Messi with the ball is not human.”
Messi has obviously worked hard, too
Like claiming Ronaldo wasn’t born with natural talent, people shouldn’t assume that Messi hasn’t worked extremely hard to reach the level he has.
Reaching the top is one thing; staying there quite another.
The fact is, you don’t win the Ballon d’Or four times in a row - even if you’re Lionel Messi - unless you continuously train, focus and improve.
No player has won more Ballon d’Or awards than Messi, who picked up the prestigious individual accolade for the fifth time back in January.
Ronaldo set to win Ballon d'Or in January
Ronaldo trails by two in the Ballon d’Or stakes, although the former Manchester United star is the firm favourite to win the award for a fourth time in January 2017 after winning the Champions League and European Championships with Real Madrid and Portugal respectively.
Is it true that Cristiano Ronaldo has worked harder than Lionel Messi during his career? Have your say by leaving a comment below.