Its the nature of men to compare the best against each other. There can never be two kings allowed to rule a land. And therefore, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo will always find themselves pitted against each other, in spite of sharing a neutral relationship off the pitch.
They might acknowledge respect for each other, but when it comes to the pitch, the battle will always be there, whether the duo like it or not.
It's almost as if comparing Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo has become a daily routine for football fans around the globe. And, since Ronaldo put an end to Messi's domination at the top by winning the Ballon d'Or in 2013, the debates have heated up to another level.
For the last two years, Ronaldo has undisputedly bettered his Argentine counterpart. Yet, there are some striking points in Lionel Messi that are pretty much hard to ignore. While measuring them, it is clearly visible how Lionel Messi ousts Cristiano Ronaldo in certain areas of the game.
Let's jot down five such spheres where the Argentine emerges out as the better of the two most often than not:
#5 Tactical flexibility
This is an important point to bring under the spotlight. These days, the football world has gone berserk over Cristiano Ronaldo's sudden loss of form. The mighty number 7 has netted only once in 48 attempts and has a conversion rate of 2.08%.
A lot of experts have deemed his positional change as the reason for his failure. Usually deployed on the left, Ronaldo is used to arriving in the penalty box and scoring goals.
However, a lack of good striking options has compelled Zidane to use the Portuguese marksman as the main spearhead in the front three, after benching Karim Benzema. Needless to say, the Frenchman's decision has backfired horribly.
Let's take an example from history. Sir Alex Ferguson used Ronaldo in the middle of a front three when United faced Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League 2009 finals in Rome. The Portuguese international found it pretty hard to fulfil the expectations as he missed some good scoring chances in the 2-0 loss.
Now, let's turn to Lionel Messi. Barcelona signed Luis Suarez in 2014 and he was asked to play as the middleman in a front three consisting of himself, Neymar and Messi. While Messi shifted out wide, the positional change brought no harm to his goalscoring rate.
In the three years of the MSN era, the Barca forward was rampant as usual, netting a whopping 153 goals and grabbing 67 assists in the process.
So, considering the stats, it is crystal clear that Lionel Messi's tactical flexibility is much more beneficial compared to that of Cristiano Ronaldo, because of which, Messi seemingly fits into any position like a glove, while the same can't be said about Ronaldo.