Ronaldo vs Messi; who is the best?
Cristiano Ronaldo recently moved to Juventus, ending his nine-year stint in Spain. It will be an understatement to say that his spell at the Spanish capital was phenomenally good. The Portuguese won numerous trophies, four Ballon d’Ors and scored tons of goals to make his stay in Spain truly astonishing.
While there is no denying the fact that Ronaldo had an unbelievable spell at Real Madrid, was he really the best player in Spain? Did Ronaldo actually conquer Spain or was he in Lionel Messi’s shadow?Ronaldo might be the greatest player to ever play for Los Blancos but it remains to be seen whether he outshone his arch rival from Argentina. He did wonders for Real Madrid in the Champions League, but when talking about domestic performances in Spain things look slightly different for the Portuguese number 7 with respect to Messi. Here’s a comparative analysis of the achievements of the two men in Spain.
Since Ronaldo joined Real Madrid from Manchester United, the Portuguese has been involved in nine seasons for Los Blancos. In those nine seasons, Real Madrid won the trophy twice whereas Barcelona claimed the title on six occasions and Atletico Madrid won once. So by a simple statistical look, we get to know that while Ronaldo has two La Liga titles, his counterpart Messi has won the trophy six times since 2009. The difference is startling but so has been Messi’s dominance in Spain.
Copa Del Rey
What FA Cup is to England, Copa del Rey is to Spain. Since Ronaldo’s £80 million move to Real Madrid from Manchester United, the star winger has won the trophy twice with Real Madrid. On the other hand, Messi has been involved in five Copa del Rey winning teams. The difference is more than evident here. While Real might have had dominance in UCL, Barcelona hold the edge in domestic competitions. Messi and Ronaldo have been an integral part of their clubs, playing their respective roles to the T in several trophy-winning campaigns. But with five titles to Ronaldo’s two, Messi takes the cake here.
One thing common between Ronaldo and Messi is their habit of scoring a massive amount of goals. Since Ronaldo’s move to Real Madrid, the former United winger has scored 311 goals in 292 La Liga appearances, for more than 1 goal per match. Not many players can boast a record like that. But the Barcelona man is right up there with an equally impressive record of 329 goals in 309 appearances since Ronaldo moved to Spain.
While their record in La Liga is somewhat equally good, their stats in Copa del Rey are a bit inclined towards the Argentine. Messi has played 52 times in Spain’s cup competition since 2009, scoring 39 goals. His Portuguese rival meanwhile has notched up 22 goals in 30 outings for Los Blancos. Ronaldo is known for his goal-scoring exploits, but when it comes to domestic competitions the Barcelona number 10 is equally as impressive. And the La Liga records speak for these legends too, as the first two positions in the all-time leading goal scorers list in La Liga history belong to Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. The world will miss one hell of a rivalry now that Ronaldo is gone.
At the World Cup
The Portuguese and Argentine superstars are considered to be two all-time greats, but how have they fared on football’s grandest international stage?
Two iconic figures of the modern era bowed out of another World Cup, with Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi suffering last-16 heartache at Russia 2018. Quite fittingly for two players to have seen their careers intertwine at various points down the years, their respective exits from a latest international gathering were confirmed on the same day.
Neither was able to find the target as Portugal and Argentina were sent packing, with Uruguay and France proving to be one obstacle too far for even those with 10 Ballons d’Or between them.
Cristiano Ronaldo at the World Cup
Having shown at Manchester United that he was destined for the top, Ronaldo made his World Cup bow two years on from suffering Euro 2004 final heartache on home soil. He appeared in six games at Germany 2006, with Portugal reaching the semi-finals before ultimately finishing fourth. A first goal was recorded in a 2-0 victory over Iran, as he converted from the penalty spot, but his most infamous outing came against England in the quarter-finals as he conspired to get club colleague Wayne Rooney sent off for a stamp on Ricardo Carvalho – leading to his winking episode – before holding his nerve to net in a shoot-out.
Four years later, Ronaldo arrived on South African soil as the most expensive player on the planet, having completed a record-breaking transfer to Real Madrid, and with a first Ballon d’Or under his belt. He would find the target just once amid much hype, in a 7-0 group stage mauling of North Korea, with that solitary effort representing his first for his country in 16 months – a remarkable statistic for a man who now has 85 efforts to his name.
Portugal went down 1-0 to Iberian rivals Spain at the last-16 stage, with their talismanic forward unable to make much of an impact. Ronaldo was back at the top of his game by 2014, as he headed to Brazil with another Golden Ball and Champions League crown under his belt, but a niggling knee problem held him back and, despite netting in a final group game with Ghana, he would go no further than that.
Further individual and European awards led the 33-year-old to Russia in 2018 and things started positively enough as he opened the tournament with a stunning hat-trick in a 3-3 draw with Spain. Another effort was recorded in a 1-0 victory over Morocco, but the knockout stages once again saw Ronaldo draw a blank as Portugal suffered a 2-1 defeat to Uruguay which left their enigmatic No. 7 in tears.
Lionel Messi at the World Cup
Like Ronaldo, Messi made his World Cup entrance in 2006 as part of a star-studded Argentina squad expected to go well under Jose Pekerman.
He was forced to wait until a second game of the group stage before being given his big break, but needed little time in which to make to make an impact after becoming the Albiceleste’s youngest ever player at the finals as he scored and provided an assist in a 6-0 drubbing of Serbia. His tournament was to end in frustration as he was left on the bench for a quarter-final clash with Germany, but he was very much the main man by 2010.
Diego Maradona was at the helm for that event, with an iconic figure of Argentina’s past charged with the task of helping to deliver global glory for a superstar of the present. Success never looked to be on the cards in a chaotic campaign, despite Messi operating as creator in chief with several assists, and a crushing 4-0 defeat to Germany sent the world’s best player heading home at the quarter-final stage.
It appeared four years on as though those quick to write off claims to the title of ‘greatest of all time’ without a World Cup triumph would be silenced, but international final despair was to be suffered by a man who has grown all too accustomed to those emotions. Messi sparkled for Argentina in the group stage on Brazilian soil, recording four goals – including a last-gasp winner against Iran – but was unable to net in knockout competition and saw a Golden Ball triumph provide little consolation as Germany took top prize.
Righting those wrongs was the target in 2018, but once again the Albiceleste were a shadow of their former selves and a final charge always looked to be beyond them . So it proved, with Messi helping them to the last 16 with a goal in a must-win game with Nigeria, but unable to provide the necessary level of inspiration to prevail in a classic encounter with France which left Jorge Sampaoli’s side on the wrong end of a 4-3 scoreline. Neither Messi nor Ronaldo has stated in public what their future plans are, with the latter steering clear of questions on the subject at the end of his Russia 2018 campaign while the former refused to speak with the press .
Ronaldo now has the edge over his rival when it comes to goals scored, but Messi has enjoyed the greater success at football’s showpiece events. Both, though, are born winners and awesome players to watch.