Tbf I wasn’t exactly making a serious argument, but I think you’re a bit underselling his international career as he’s for the most part also dealing with incredibly mediocre team mates for Portugal while the Argentine team has a bit of quality outside of Messi too.
Also to add to your first sentence… it’s not that easy to do a lot in a final if you go off injured in the 25th minute.
I don’t really see how these two assessments can coexist. As has being said, Ronaldo is exceptional at heading and at exploiting situations created by the team. No one currently playing is probably as good in those two departments, even though Bale is a fantastic header of the ball, too. However, Ronaldo can not dribble past people (he used to do that with speed) andcreate for himself. His free kicks are not even in the “bad” category, they are god fucking awful. So bad actually, that they have to be hurting the team. Real has had really competent set piece takers over the years, but I imagine any coach who’d take the fks away from Ronaldo would risk an ego-explosion of epic proportions and so one of the worst in the team at taking free kicks, continues to do so.
Two rather large weaknesses for “the best attacker ever”. He also takes, for years now, by far the most shots of any player in Europe, meaning that while his goal scoaring record is really impressive, it is also due to the fact he is firing from all angles. His ratio has actually gotten better, but in his early Madrid years, it looked like this
La Liga 09/10
Shots taken: Ronaldo 7,3 Messi 4,7 Higuain 3,1
Goals scored: Ronaldo 26 Messi 34 Higuain 27
Shots taken: Ronaldo 6,9 Messi 5,1 Falcao 3,6
Goals scored: Ronaldo 34 Messi 46 Falcao 28
There are of course seasons, where the stats look more in his favour, but overall he takes a lot more chances to score than Messi and is probably closer relation-wise to other top attackers in Europe.
At this point we haven’t even talked about other aspects of the game, dribbling past players, creating chances through passing and so on at which Messi is just miles better. I also don’t understand the “he is more athletic” - argument.
Messi is much more agile, rides tackles like no one else and is - especially nowadays, where Ronaldo has lost a lot of his burst - not significantly slower. Ronaldo doesn’t use his body to muscle past players or fend off defenders (he’s a bit too divy for that), so the only benefit of his “body” is the heading ability, and we already covered that.
So while I agree that Ronaldo is a superb player (if you regularly score 30-40 goals, this is just a fact), I think he is far off from being the most complete attacker. The gulf between the two players mentioned has always been quite vast and it’s only due to Real winning titles over Barcelona that he has won more than one Ballon d’Or.
Doesn’t matter, he used to be able to dribble and that is what launched his whole career. He is turning 32 in two months as well, few people who are 32 dribble much do they? Same with his free kicks that used to be great, if you’re intelligent enough you play to your strengths as you get older, maybe he doesn’t practise free kicks any more, I don’t know but none of your rating him today diminshes what he has done for years prior though. Again, 32 in two months. He is the most complete attacker in the -history- of the sport.
Comparing how much he shoots matters fkall when you score the most in the world in top football. He gets himself into the positions lest not forget, and it is not like his team is not successful because of it with 2 CL wins in 3 years. If you and me played each other and you get into position and score once each game with one shot and I get into position 10 times every game and score twice, I’d still say I’m better than you even though your conversion rate is 100% and mine is 20%. There comes a point where you make your own chances and part of it is due to how versatile he is in different situations.
All the stuff you list about Messi (riding tackles/agility) does nothing in itself unless you tell me what they convert into, and that has been discussed above. Ronaldo sure as fk uses his body to muscle past players, I’ve watched 30+ RM games a season since he joined as my best footballing buddy is part RM fan and used to frequently go to the Bernabeu, and I can tell that you don’t. And he doesn’t regularly score 30-40 goals, he has over 50 goals 6 seasons in a row, and he has gotten them in every single way for years, headers, long shots, free kicks, dribbling, penalties, muscling past defenders etc. Again, -in history- no one has done all that as well as he has. Well, at least for me that is.
hardly makes one shit at it and the other one the best, does it?
And Messi has won the league 8 times to Ronaldo’s 4 (once with RM) and he has 4 CL wins to Ronaldo’s 3 so I don’t really feel any achievement arguments favour Ronaldo, they won it when they were the better player, Messi has more because he is better in the end. But not more complete, and the trophy has nothing to do with that either anyway.
Ronaldo was never, ever a better player than Messi. Not even when Messi was at his worst with the injury and the disaster that was Tata’s Barça. If you parse out the statistics you’ll see that.
Messi has always had more goals + assists/90 than Ronaldo, usually significantly more, and that’s without taking into account how much more efficient Messi is, as mentioned by CunningLinguist, he’s not taking an absurd, absurd volume of shots to do his work, as Ronaldo always has for Madrid, which is my point about how you have to take his phenomenal statistics with some context, and then you see that while Ronaldo has been a great player, he is certainly not above the likes of fat Ronaldo, and in terms of all time talents players like Xavi, Iniesta, Zidane, etc., have been rarer talents for me, just not in as rare a situation statistically. And please, for god’s sake, use non penalty goals when discussing the two!
Anyways, I can’t believe I let myself get sucked into this time and time again, Ronaldo-Messi is not an argument. Ronaldo-Bale, Ronaldo-Suárez, Ronaldo-fucking Özil or Alexis or Ribery or Robben, has always been more of an argument than Ronaldo-Messi.
Messi has a few more assists but they still assist quite a lot both of them, all in all Messi has something like 220 assists and Ronaldo 200, Messis average/minute is higher but it’s not like there’s a gulf between them again (as with free kicks) so if there is a noticeable difference between their respective team’s output it is maybe also down to their mates being better.
But Barca with the superior players around him (since the season Ronaldo joined) should be capitalising on all these assists, however look at RM goals scored, it jumps noticeably the season Ronaldo joins from 80-something on average to then stay at 100+ goals scored each season ever since, and RM have since then scored more goals than Barca as well.
So what does his assists and conversion rate actually mean? that his team and himself scores more than the other. There is a point where you get less assists if you score more of the chances yourself, and where your conversion rate doesn’t matter when you’re the ones getting into the position in the first place and setting the goal scoring records of the season over and over.
Barca ofc with the much better defensive record won more La Liga titles and CL trophies, and I will never argue against Messi being the better player over all. Ofc we can go on compare what team plays more attacking football etc forever. But I don’t really feel the need to defend my opinion further that he is in deed the most complete bastard the game has ever seen.
If that is the case, I really don’t understand why you’d think Messi is better overall.
If you are surrounded by world class players, there might be a better way to convert that attack into a goal, especially when the shots taken are with low chance of scoring.
Disagree, he uses his body to draw contact and get free kicks more than he uses strength to push players away. He is not a physical player.
Because my opinion differs from yours? Or are you actually saying I have not watched enough Ronaldo to form an opinion? No CL, no WC, no Euros, no PD, no EPL. Come on, man.
I was talking talking about La Liga, as evident by the numbers I posted.
Where did I say Messi was the best free kick taker? He certainly is better than Ronaldo, though.
What I’m saying is that the team’s titles play a big role in the decision process for the individual awards. Ronaldo has had one, maybe two (debatable) seasons when he was better than Messi, yet he has 3 titles.
Anyway, really not worth debating, it gets too heated quite quickly.
I think Messi is better because I defined it in my first post as (dribbling/finishing) and he is better at it than Ronaldo. Messi for example has 4% of his goals scored on headers to Ronaldo’s 10% or so, that’s where the complete/versatility argument comes in for example, even if Messi scores more with his feet. The conversion rate, read further down, RM scores more than Barca, Barca wins more on better defensive record.
At least I don’t see a difference enough to give any huge edge to Messi or one would have to start talking team tactics differences. If you watched enough RM games it doesn’t make sense to say Ronaldo doesn’t use his physique, he even holds back now and then because he looks too much like he wrestles them over from just being stronger, a bit like Zlatan. he is a physical monster, I remember an interview with a Swedish NT player saying he is the physically strongest player he has ever played against.
I misunderstood that you talked about La Liga numbers, then ofc you’re correct. You didn’t say he was the best, my mistake, you said Ronaldo was “god fucking awful” though which is sour for someone with nearly the same rate as Messi. And now I get what you mean by the Ballon d’Or argument, I agree with you here as well, it just wasn’t clear at first for me.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Iniesta is the best player I have ever seen play live. When I went to the Camp Nou, you could literally just watch Iniesta and you’re watching the game itself. Everything meaningful went through him, he was incredible. Whilst Messi is the better player, that individual performance of Iniesta was something I’ve never seen live before.