#3. Messi is more of a team player than Ronaldo
Both of them know that football is a team sport hence they make use of their teammates as judiciously as possible. Ronaldo has produced 214 assists while Messi is at 248. More than the numbers, it is the optics that remains in the memory of the football fans. They consider Messi to be a better team player than Ronaldo.
Ronaldo likes to control the ball and run towards the nets on his own. Messi, on the other hand, does that and also passes the ball to his teammates, as per the need of the game.
#2. The ‘greatest of all time’ debate
Before they arrived, the football world debated about Pele and Diego Maradona. No other player attained the kind of status which these two great players commanded in the world of the football. They were the benchmarks against whom, all the other players were measured.
Ronaldo and Messi changed the course of this discussion, and they figure in the ‘greatest of all time debate.’ Both of them have won the Ballon d'Or a record five times each.
Messi is a complete player who has the skill, pace, tactical ability, and team-spirit. Ronaldo is more like a machine, but several coaches, critics, former players, and commentators put Messi ahead of Ronaldo regarding that debate.
Manchester United manager, Jose Mourinho said, "For me, the top three players in history are Messi, Pele, and Maradona,"
Pele told SporTV, “I would still stay with Messi. Scoring is important, no doubt, but if you do not have anyone to prepare, then the ball is not enough. For my team I prefer Messi. As for Cristiano Ronaldo, he's a great goal scorer.”
Steven Gerrard said, "I think they're both operating on a different planet to every footballer that's ever lived, probably beside your Peles and your Maradonas. But Messi for me is more of a team player. If he's in on goal, he'll look for a pass, as well as obviously posting really, really good numbers individually as well.”
#1. Messi is more disciplined
Messi is way ahead of Ronaldo in terms of discipline and on-field conduct. The Argentine has just received one card in his entire career, in a friendly match, which is nothing as compared to Ronaldo’s 11 red cards. Ronaldo is slightly aggressive in his style of play while Messi is more articulate.
Messi has collected 67 yellow cards in his career with Barcelona, while Ronaldo saw 101 yellow cards with Sporting, Manchester United, and Real Madrid.