What’s the Story
Michael Owen recently waded bravely into the never-ending, brutal, muck-filled swamp that is the world of comparisons between Cristiano Ronaldo vs Lionel Messi. Speaking to BT Sport after the conclusion of the UEFA Champions League matches, this is what he had to say:
“Goalscoring is the hardest art in football and [Ronaldo] makes it look so easy. Head, left foot, right foot. Messi is a decent header of a ball but if you're looking at all-round players, you go head-to-head with Messi and Ronaldo, you'd say Ronaldo has a lot more different attributes let's say. He's probably always been quicker, right foot, left foot and header of a ball. I think Messi is outstanding in certain attributes but as an all-round physique, Ronaldo is such an all-round player."
In case you didn’t know
This is more of an in case you have forgotten, but before you go on a rant blasting Michael Owen and asking who the hell he is to make such a far-reaching statement, let me remind you that Owen was the second-youngest player ever to win the Ballon d’Or, the winner of two Premier League golden boots and one of the single most devastating strikers the world had seen uptil then (before his knees gave out, that is).
Oh, and let me show you this:
The heart of the matter
While Owen’s comments will certainly ranke amongst die-hard Lionel Messi fans, it comes in the aftermath of a Champions League Quarterfinal showdown where Ronaldo bagged 5 of 6 goals Real Madrid scored past Bayern Munich and Messi looked utterly off-colour against Bayern Munich. Owen’s assesment starts with the words “He just doesn’t miss does he”, and therefore as a striker his views are predicated on the pure goalscoring abilities of the two superstars.
With so much pride on the stake on Sunday night, for el clasico, Lionel Messi will be looking to bring his A-game and prove to the world that he is still numero uno, while Ronaldo will want to show that his performances against Bayern were not just the last hurrahs of a great career but the harbringer of his continued success. Promises to be mouth-wateringly brilliant, that one!
As a great striker in his prime, Michael Owen’s opinions carry greater weight than your average Joe. While it’s true that he’s not been a great TV pundit, it’s hard to summarily discount his words. In this instance, I believe Owen has glossed over Leo Messi’s immense talents (and footballing intelligence) and has used the ruthlessness of Ronaldo’s finishing (and his ability to do so off either foot and his head) as the barometer to measure the rivarly. To each his own!Published 20 Apr 2017, 17:30 IST