Ronaldo vs. Messi – Numbers tell a story…
Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are not only the two best soccer players on the planet, they also happen to play for quite possibly the two best soccer clubs in the planet, making their rivalry even more enticing.
When you go head-to-head in terms of skill sets, each player gets a fair share of bullet-points. Messi’s the better dribbler, tougher to pry the ball away from, and overall he’s the more team-oriented player. Ronaldo, on the other hand, has the stronger leg whether you’re talking free kicks or finishing around the net, and overall he’s the more physically imposing force.
Within the past year or so, however, it seemed like the answer to the best soccer player in the world was most frequently Messi. Most of this was probably because he brings more to a team and because his FC Barcelona team has had a bit more success recently than Ronaldo’s – not to say that Real Madrid is anything of a slacker, mind you. But when comparing the numbers between head-to-head matchups, there’s a different answer that begins to find some light.
In the last 8 meetings between Ronaldo and Messi, Ronaldo has scored in all but one game, whereas Messi has only scored in 3. Ronaldo’s 9 goals in those 8 games more than double Messi’s 4. And Ronaldo’s team has come up victorious in 3 of the meetings, with 3 being ties and 2 being victories for Messi’s team.
It may not sway your opinion too greatly in Ronaldo’s favor just because it’s a small sample size, but it definitely should carry some weight that Messi has been outperformed by a fair amount the last 8 times the two superstars have met.
Most recently, this Tuesday, Ronaldo’s Real Madrid topped Barcelona 3-1 to advance to the Copa del Rey final on 4-2 aggregate. Ronaldo scored a pair of goals, one on a penalty kick in the 13th minute, and a second in the 57th minute when he buried a ball that took a somewhat fortunate bounce his way.
The next meeting between the Ronaldo and Messi is a regular season La Liga matchup this weekend: Saturday, March 2nd in Madrid. Although FC Barcelona has all-but-claimed the title in La Liga with a 12- point lead in the standings, there’s always an extra level of intrigue any time the two teams meet.
So where do you stand on the great soccer debate?