Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Biggest Debate in Soccer

Soccers biggest debate, who is truly the best player in the world. Is it Barcelonas goal machine, Lionel Messi or is it Madrids talisman, Cristiano Ronaldo? Both players posses skills far beyond any other players on the planet, but who is truly the better superstar?

The similarities of Ronaldo and Messi are actually harder to draw up then the differences, while Messi enjoys being on the ball he knows how to move methodically through the field without the ball and into prime positions to score. Ronaldo on the other hand is more of a bombarder. Preferring to get the ball on the wing and use his pace and skills to beat opponents while cutting inside to score. Both players have mastered their craft, but who does the most for their team, who is better?

My money is on the Portuguese man, Cristiano Ronaldo. CR7 when he wants to, can take over a game all on his own, and teams don't know how to stop him. Unlike Messi for Barcelona, if Ronaldo is having an off day it's usually game over for Madrid that day. But Ronaldo is rarely off his game. Able to play any striker role on the field, Ronaldo is a complete attacker. Possessing world class speed, agility, and goal prowess he is deadly from any situation. You can never count madrid out of a game as long as CR7 is on the pitch. There is some fair criticism that comes with picking Ronaldo over Messi though, how can you not pick a 4 time ballon d'or winner? Messi has won 19 trophies, Ronaldo only has 12. Messi has scored 200 la liga goals and last calendar year he broke Gerd Müllers goal record. All those stats are very nice and super impressive, but it came down to a few factors for me. 

First, marketability. It's one thing to have immense talents but if you aren't marketable no one will know who you are. Messi, putting it nicely, is boring. He scores and does a regular hugging celebration with teammates, he has boring press conferences, he isn't overly flashy, doesn't date supermodels, etc. and all that is truly great and is admirable, any young player looking to be respected in the future of their careers should take note of how Messi conducts himself, but when it comes to being a player young kids want to idolize for how cool it is to be a superstar, they look to Ronaldo. Ronaldo has all the attributes to be a world icon. The looks, the charisma, the swagger. On top of that he has world class abilities on the field. He is flashy when he plays, using lots of fancy flicks and skills against opponents. When he scores you never know what type of celebration you will get, and that is exciting. I bet if you asked most young players in the world right now who they want to shape their game to be like, it would be Ronaldo.

My main point that led me to pick Ronaldo is the fact that if you put Messi or Ronaldo on any mid level team in any league who leads a team farther in their careers. In my opinion if you put Ronaldo on a team that is mid level he will lead that team to not only a league title, but a Champions League spot and I think he could lead a mediocre team to at least the knockout stage of the Champions League. Now Messi, he could possibly do the same, but he is a different type of player. Higher game IQ but less physical ability than Ronaldo. Ronaldo is a safer bet to accomplish those things with another team than Messi.

This is all my opinion, of course. So what do you think? Is Messi the greatest in the game? Is it CR7? Have another player you want to make a case for? Let me know in the comments!

Ronaldo Real Madrid Framed 8x10 Photo - Striking Ball (Google Affiliate Ad)

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