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Home   /   Messi vs Ronaldo: The GOAT Debate

Sub-edited by: Oliver Seymour

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Over the course of the last two decades Messi and Ronaldo has grown to be one of the biggest rivalries and debates in football. Messi, the Argentinian who magician dances through defences, leaving his opponents lost at times as he uses his close control, quick bursts of speed and seemingly magical connection with the ball. On the other hand, Ronaldo, the Portuguese powerhouse is known for his athleticism, speed, power and goal scoring abilities. His mindset and dedication to be the best and believe he is the best is the reason he is where he is now.

When looking into the two, we can see Ronaldo has played 150 more games than Messi at the current points in their career. This is a key factor in this debate if we are going off of stats. It’s key because when people talk and argue about who is the greatest footballer out of the two, they often tend to ignore the fact Ronaldo has played more games and just focus on the goals scored. It’s true that Ronaldo has scored more goals, in fact he’s scored the most ever by a footballer, scoring 867 whereas Messi has scored 821. But Messi has therefore only scored 46 less goals in 150 less games, meaning Messi has a better goal to game ratio. This is evidence showing that perhaps even though Ronaldo is stereotypically seen as the better goal scorer, it actually is Messi who is the more clinical and the better player in terms of goal scoring abilities.

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Another area people can compare the two is the assist category, in this particular stat, there is only one winner which is Lionel Messi. He has 114 more assists than Ronaldo, also in less games. This is clear evidence here concluding Messi is a better provider and playmaker of the ball when compared to Ronaldo.

Now we switch over to trophies and awards won. This area of their game has been close throughout their whole careers and multiple times going to the wire against each other to win them, but Messi ends up prevailing in this area, so much that Messi has now won the most trophies by a single player in the history of the game with 44 trophies won compared to Ronaldo with 35. We can compare team trophies in which some could say mean less as it’s a team award and not an individual one. Now we can compare Individual awards won. The Ballon D’Or is the most celebrated and prestigious award a player could win, dating back many years with the likes of Pele winning it. In this area, Messi has won it a record eight times while Ronaldo has won it an impressive five times. As well as the Ballon D’Or Messi has also won more FIFA world player of the year and winning more European Golden shoe awards, concluding here that Messi as well as team awards has won more individual awards as well.

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May 2024