4 reasons why Lionel Messi is better than Cristiano Ronaldo

Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have dominated world football for a while now, and are widely considered to be two of the greatest players of all time. They have won practically every single accolade at club level, and have also performed incredibly well for their national teams.

Ronaldo and Messi share an intense rivalry on the field, which is mirrored in the way their fans behave. Both sets of fans are argumentative and passionate, and never fail to bring up their idol's name when a discussion on the best player in the world comes up.

Here, we look at four reasons why Messi is arguably better than Ronaldo:

#4 Messi is a better team player than Ronaldo

Ronaldo has been prolific for Real Madrid and Manchester United over the years and now for Juventus. But during all this time, the focus has often been on him rather than the team.

Ronaldo announced indirectly that his Madrid stay was over just after the Champions League win. The fact that he recently criticized his ex-teammates at Madrid further reinforces this.

RCD Espanyol v FC Barcelona - La Liga
RCD Espanyol v FC Barcelona - La Liga

Besides this, Ronaldo's relationship with Gareth Bale and Sergio Ramos was not always easy. Not celebrating Bale's goals at times gave the impression that he did not want anybody else to take the limelight.

Messi, on the other hand, has more assists than Ronaldo and is much more of a team player than the Portuguese.

#3 Messi is a better playmaker than Ronaldo

Ronaldo is absolutely lethal inside and around the penalty box area, and is the best poacher currently. Messi, meanwhile, still goes about his play in his famous false nine position.

Messi can play as a winger, a second striker or even drop deep to midfield positions to build up play from the back. His ability to link up play is the backbone of Barcelona's possession based style.

FC Barcelona v Tottenham Hotspur - UEFA Champions League Group B
FC Barcelona v Tottenham Hotspur - UEFA Champions League Group B

Messi has the unique skills to combine well with Busquets and Jordi Alba to build up play while also forming potential attacking threats with the likes of Suarez and Coutinho. All of these attributes make Messi a better playmaker than Ronaldo.

#2 Messi is better dribbler and passer than Ronaldo

Messi and Ronaldo are both terrific in their own ways, but one area where Messi has truly shown his brilliance is in his dribbling prowess. In the 2017-18 season, Messi had 5.1 dribbles per game as compared to Ronaldo's 1.1.

With his superior dribbling ability, Messi is better at breaking down stubborn and organised defences.

Barcelona v Athletic Club - La Liga
Barcelona v Athletic Club - La Liga

In addition to this, Messi also performed better in key passes as he had 2.4 per game as compared to Ronaldo's 1.4. This clearly shows in the results too as Messi raked up 12 assists last season whereas Ronaldo could manage only 5.

These two skills are where Messi has established himself as the best in the world over the years, and he is still going strong even now.

#1 Messi is more consistent than Ronaldo

Ronaldo has won the last three Champions Leagues and is no doubt the more consistent of the two in Europe. But if we look at the entire season's performance, Ronaldo's goals in LaLiga have dropped off while Messi was the highest goalscorer in Europe last season.

Another area where Messi is more consistent is that he is much more disciplined than Ronaldo. Ronaldo's indiscipline during last season's Supercopa de Espana led him to miss a number of Madrid's initial matches, which ultimately resulted in Real Madrid finishing third in LaLiga.

RCD Espanyol v FC Barcelona - La Liga
RCD Espanyol v FC Barcelona - La Liga

Messi's workrate and discipline are the two main factors which make him a more consistent player over the course of a season.

Edited by Musab Abid
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