One of the biggest arguments in football, the Ronaldo or Messi debate divides football fans. Whilst we’re lucky to live in the same era as these giants, who is the best is hotly contested. Messi is the complete striker, an absolute wizard with the ball- you’re guaranteed it’ll hit the back of the net. Ronaldo is the same as Messi, with the ball at his feet he is a wizard, but he’s got a lot more skills under his belt. Messi is the out and out goal-scorer, but Ronaldo can do far more, being a capable midfielder who can hit an excellent pass or assist as well as score the goal. For me, since he has a bit more at his disposal, it’s got to be Ronaldo.
Now before I start off with justifying why Cristiano, let me say this. Lionel Messi is the most naturally gifted footballer I have ever come across. Cristiano is second to him. But on the basis of their careers, I have to give it to Cristiano. They are closely matched on total number of club career goals at 626 for Ronaldo versus 627 for Messi. Leo got those in a substantially less number of games but Ronaldo has played tougher opposition (especially when he was with Manchester United in the Premier League) and in different leagues - and more importantly has won wherever he has gone. In terms of international play Ronaldo comfortably ousts Leo with 99 in 164 games to 70 in 138 games. But more than raw numbers, Ronaldo has performed when it mattered most more often than Messi has and has performed with different teammates across clubs in different leagues. Not to mention, he has more Champions Leagues titles and more international trophies than Messi does. One might argue that Ronaldo played little part in the final of Euro 2016 but Portugal without his heroics in the final group game against Hungary and the semifinal against Wales do not even get there in the first place. All that being said, I can completely understand if someone ranks Leo higher because there is such a grey area when it comes to this topic and there is no clearly drawn line.
I think one thing to take in is that they're both giants of the sport, and we'll probably never have a definitive answer on who's best. That being said, I want to voice my support for Messi. He's dominated La Liga since before I can remember, with his innate footballing prowess and sublime ability on the ball. He's Barcelona's all time top goal scorer, being with the club for the extent of his career. While this means that Ronaldo's dominated in more leagues, with stints in England and Italy, it shows Messi's dedication towards the club which he's given so much of his career to. Ronaldo may be the complete package, and the definition of an athlete, but Messi just has an indescribable ability. Pep Guardiola said it best: “Don’t write about him, don’t try to describe him, just watch him”.