The comparisons between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have been discussed in virtually every media format for nearly five years now. Since Ronaldo left Manchester United to join Real Madrid, he has aligned himself opposite Messi in virtually every aspect of the game. Messi is an athlete sponsored by Adidas, while Ronaldo wears his own Nike line. Ronaldo can be standoffish with opponents and officials on the field, while Messi rarely shows his discontentment. As they grow older, even their playing styles are becoming different. Messi now runs less in order to preserve his energy, while Ronaldo charges forward at full sprint to take advantage of counter attacking opportunities.
In the last two seasons, Ronaldo has made his case to be the superior player and cultural figure among the pair. He has opened his own museum, had a cartoon character created from his image, won the UEFA Champions League, and defeated Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Sweden in the UEFA World Cup Qualifying playoffs. Ronaldo has also maintained a clean public image, while Messi’s has been tarnished with allegations of tax evasion.
This is not the final word in the Messi vs. Ronaldo debate, but as they currently stand, Ronaldo is the superior player. He is coming off a season where he won his first FIFA Ballon D’Or Award as the world’s greatest player. Ronaldo has scored 50 goals in four consecutive seasons, something Messi has never done. Ronaldo has excelled in multiple leagues and earned a European Golden Shoe award as the top scorer while playing in both England and Spain. Here are ten reasons why Cristiano Ronaldo is currently greater than Lionel Messi.
10 Ronaldo Won the UEFA Champions League Last Season
Ronaldo made history last season when he scored in the UEFA Champions League final against Atletico Madrid. He became the first player to score in a Champions League Final for two winning teams. His goal sealed Real Madrid’s victory and gave Ronaldo an opportunity to show the world his abs in celebration. While Ronaldo’s fitness for the final match was in doubt in the run up to the match, he played the full 120 minutes and was rewarded for his efforts.
9 Ronaldo Pays His Taxes
8 Ronaldo Has Been Managed by the Best
7 Ronaldo Scored More Goals in 2013-14
6 Ronaldo is a More Complete Player
5 Ronaldo Has Won With Two Different Teams
4 Ronaldo is Incredibly Charitable
Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are both tremendously charitable individuals, but Ronaldo always seems to go the extra mile for his charities. After learning a boy wearing a Ronaldo jersey had been stranded during the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, Ronaldo visited Aceh, Indonesia and raised funds for reconstruction. Ronaldo has also donated to build schools in Gaza and paid for a number of operations for sick children. Following the hospital in his hometown of Madeira saving his mother’s life, Ronaldo paid for the hospital to build a cancer treatment center. Cristiano works with Save the Children to combat child hunger and obesity. He is also an advocate of mangrove conservation.
3 Ronaldo Has His Own Museum
2 Ronaldo Scored Against Every La Liga Club in a Single Season
1 Ronaldo is the Best Portuguese Footballer of All Time
Lionel Messi is a spectacular footballer. Unfortunately, because of his body dimensions and nationality, he will always be playing in the shadow of comparison to the legendary Diego Maradona. Until Messi wins a World Cup for Argentina, he will forever be considered to be the second best Argentinian footballer of all time. Cristiano Ronaldo does not have the burden of being compared to past Portuguese greats like Eusebio and Luis Figo, because Ronaldo has already surpassed them. Ronaldo will pass Figo to become the most capped player in Portuguese history, while Messi still has a way to go to overtake Javier Zanetti. Ronaldo is the leading scorer in Portuguese history, while Messi still needs 14 more goals to overtake Gabriel Batistuta. From this point forward, Ronaldo is competing only with himself to further the legacy he leaves on Portuguese football. That's not to sayt that Eusebio and Luis Figo weren't incredible players, but Ronaldo is truly one of a kind.
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