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.
Click the button below to start this article in quick view
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.
Messi on the other hand crashed out of the Champions League in the quarterfinals to eventual finalists Atletico Madrid. Messi’s Barcelona team again fell short against Atletico Madrid on the final day of the La Liga season in a match that ended 0-0. Messi was contained by Madrid’s defense and his inability to break through caused Barcelona to miss out on the La Liga title. Despite both players missing time due to injury, Ronaldo managed to return to his club under duress and lead them to victory.
9 Ronaldo Pays His Taxes
Lionel Messi is currently embroiled in an ongoing tax evasion case. Messi and his father are scheduled to appear in Spanish court later this fall to face the charges that the pair evaded taxes on Messi’s image rights. Messi initially paid €5 million to repay the unpaid taxes and interest, but a judge ruled that Messi had knowledge of the fictitious corporate structure used to shelter his assets. Meanwhile, Ronaldo has never been accused of tax evasion and according to sources pays a tax rate of 51.9%.
8 Ronaldo Has Been Managed by the Best
Early in his career, Ronaldo had the good fortune of being transferred to Manchester United. Thanks to this move, Cristiano had an opportunity to play under the tutelage of the great Sir Alex Ferguson. His time with Sir Alex Ferguson was fundamental in the development of the world’s greatest player. During his time with United he won three Premier League titles and one UEFA Champions League title. After moving to Real Madrid, Ronaldo played for another managerial great, Jose Mourinho. Under Mourinho’s guidance, Ronaldo won his first La Liga crown. Currently, he plays for one of the greatest coaches of the last two decades, Carlo Ancelotti, who led him to his first Champions League title with Real Madrid.
7 Ronaldo Scored More Goals in 2013-14
Ronaldo scored over 50 goals for the fourth consecutive season last year for a grand total of 65. That is far better than Messi who scored only 41 goals in all competitions. Ronaldo outscored Messi in La Liga by three goals and in the Champions League by an impressive nine goals. Both players excel at putting the ball into the net, but Ronaldo’s versatility allows him to create more opportunities where Messi would be unable. Ronaldo’s height and jumping ability make him a threat on set pieces…which brings us to our next point.
6 Ronaldo is a More Complete Player
The physical differences between Ronaldo and Messi create the differences in their styles of play. Messi is short and compact which allows him to make runs between defenders and run with the ball at pace. Ronaldo’s taller physique with a stronger upper body allows him to punish defenders with strength and speed. Cristiano also possesses world class jumping ability which has helped him score in a variety of situations, notably in the 2008 Champions League final against Chelsea. In addition to these strengths, Ronaldo can also run with the ball at tremendous pace, hit free kicks with power and accuracy, and shoot from distance.
5 Ronaldo Has Won With Two Different Teams
Ronaldo holds the unique distinction of being the only player to score in the Champions League final for two different teams. Ronaldo has been steering his clubs to victory since his early days with Manchester United. Ronaldo captured two Football League Cups, one FA Cup, three Premier League titles, and one Champions League title before even joining Madrid. Messi has earned his fair share of hardware as a crucial member of one of the most influential and memorable Barcelona teams of all time. He is a Barcelona legend. However, Ronaldo has earned the undying love and respect of fans from two of the biggest clubs in the world. This makes Ronaldo more marketable and gives him a larger fan base.
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.
On top of that, the terrible haircut pictured above was apparently done to give encouragement to a young boy who had undergone a brain operation, that Ronaldo paid for.
3 Ronaldo Has His Own Museum
Cristiano Ronaldo came up with a unique idea when his trophy cabinet became too full. He opened a museum in his hometown of Madiera, Portugal. The museum is run by Ronaldo’s brother and contains over 150 trophies and medals among hundreds of other pieces of memorabilia. It is the most popular museum on the island and attracts tourists from all over the world. The museum takes fans through Ronaldo’s progression from childhood phenomenon to international superstar and even includes a life sized statue of Cristiano Ronaldo himself.
2 Ronaldo Scored Against Every La Liga Club in a Single Season
Despite having played five fewer seasons in La Liga than Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo managed to accomplish a feat that no other player, including Messi, has achieved. During the 2011-12 La Liga campaign, Ronaldo scored against Mallorca on the final day of the season to successfully score a goal against each of the other 19 clubs in La Liga. The win over Mallorca also gave Real Madrid 100 points in La Liga, the highest total of any club to ever win the competition. It was a thoroughly dominant season for Ronaldo.
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.
Leave A Comment
Looking for an AD FREE EXPERIENCE on TheSportster?Get Your Free Access Now!