By MARCUS GARCIA
Ever since Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi came into the world of soccer, people knew they would be stars. They have worked very hard and have earned their spots as the best in the world, but the question remains, who is better? Ronaldo, the 31-year-old Portuguese star, and Messi, the 29-year-old hailing from Argentina, have been associated with this question since the start of their careers. It is difficult to decide who is the better player, as they both have their specialties and weaknesses. The only way to determine who is better is to analyze them both and come to a conclusion.
To start off, we will analyze their physical attributes. Ronaldo, who stands at 6’1, is known for his work force and fitness level. He uses his head at a very dangerous level. He is a deadeye when the ball is in the air and in front of the net. With his height, he has a tremendous amount of pace and makes deadly cuts. He takes off so fast; he can often leave defenders unaware of him in the dust. He also has a rocket for a leg! When he shoots, it is fast and hard, and will be in the back of the net before the goalie realizes that he kicked it. Messi, on the other hand, stands at about 5’7, and is not as dominant with his head as Ronaldo. Messi makes up for his height with having blazing acceleration and footwork, as he is one of the fastest players in the world. His height makes him a nightmare because he can move into small spaces and and take shots most players cannot even dream of.
On to their scoring talents, Ronaldo is deadly accurate and considered the best finisher in the game. He is a pinpoint shooter and places the ball exactly where he wants it. He has slowed down a bit, but, in his best days, he could dribble his way through all 11 players and make the keeper look silly. He has the ball on a string when he dribbles, still passing the defenders with ease. Messi is the better dribbler, as he can weave his way through traffic and take a shot off and score with ease. He hardly ever loses control of the ball, which is exactly what you want in an attacker. His quick footwork paired with his creativity off the ball makes him a deadly source for play-creation.
On to passing: Messi takes the cake, plain and simple. It is seen in his career assist total, just watch Messi play one game. Ronaldo is not known for his passing, but he is definitely not bad at it. Messi can find his teammates and make the hardest of passes look easy, and his teammates make him look even better by being some of the best goal scorers in the league. At Real Madrid, Ronaldo holds down that attack, and is easily the best goal scorer on his team.
They both have a great passion for the game of soccer, but when Ronaldo plays internationally, one can see that he loves what he is doing. He gets fired up and often very emotional on the pitch, emphasizing his passion for what he is doing. Messi had a hiccup in his career where he got tired of Argentina losing and retired from international play for awhile. While this doesn’t have an affect on who is better, passion does help a player.
So, the undying argument between fans of each player remains: who is better? Personally, I believe Ronaldo is the better player. I also am full bred Portuguese and have been a fan of him since I started watching soccer. If you interviewed every soccer fan in the world, most would say Messi is the better player. They are both the two best players in the world, but there will never be an official decision who’s better.