Everyone has their own idea of who football’s greatest ever player truly is, but seldom has there ever been two stars of Messi and Ronaldo
‘s quality within the same generation.
Had either player had the luxury of dominating an entire 10-year spell unchallenged, they would have hoovered up every Ballon d’Or available and practically become a sporting god.
However, the fact both players have been going head-to-head for so long has – by their own admission – motivated them to improve their games more than they might have done otherwise.
In other words, we arguably have the Messi vs Ronaldo debate to thank for both athletes pushing each other to keep raising the bar higher.
Ronaldo vs Messi rivalry
But how have people tried to settle the argument? Well, the answer will always be a subjective one, but that hasn’t stopped supporters from trawling through statistics to try and get the upper hand.
There are so many data-sets you can utilise across countless competitions and eras in order to give either Ronaldo or Messi the advantage depending on your narrative.
And as for the major career stats that are plastered over websites and newspapers every other week, well, they’re just not surprising to football fans anymore.
Who is the greatest?
Of course, it could be argued that Messi had a better team around him during those games, but Ronaldo was also appearing in Real sides that were lapping up Champions League crowns.
And besides, Messi even has a better goal contribution rate in the two games he’s played against Ronaldo internationally as well as in games between Manchester United and Barcelona.
Like just about every statistic in the debate, it’s by no means perfect, but it shows Messi vs Ronaldo is pretty simple to answer whenever they’re sharing the same pitch.