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Cristiano Ronaldo – the second-best player in the world?

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Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 100th La Liga goal for Real Madrid in the side’s 5-1 win over Real Sociedad at the weekend, setting a new club record for the least amount of games to reach his century; 92. The Portuguese attacker commanded a world-record fee when the Santiago Bernabeu side acquired him for £80million from Manchester United in June 2009, but that investment may well be set to pay off this season as he spearheads Los Blancos’ quest for honours.

The debate over who the best player in the world game is rages on, however there are only two contenders; CR7 and Barcelona’s main man Lionel Messi. The Argentine forward has won three consecutive Ballon d’Or awards ahead of Ronaldo, partly due to his sparkling individual performances and the Blaugrana’s success in Europe and in Spain. Messi has delivered in the biggest games and on the highest stage and his frequent match-winning performances against Real Madrid give him the edge over his closest rival.

However, Ronaldo’s achievements since he moved to Spain have been nothing short of phenomenal. When he left Old Trafford, the then 24-year-old was largely deployed as a winger, with his masterful skill and pace commanding such an extortionate transfer fee. Since moving to the Primera Division giants, Ronaldo has added increased strength, agility and fitness to his game, with his physical athleticism frightening. Jose Mourinho uses his main weapon in a more central capacity, and the attacker’s clinical nature and goalscoring ability are there for all to see.

Last term, despite the dominance of Barcelona at home and abroad, Ronaldo won the Pichichi for La Liga’s top goalscorer with 40 goals; he became the first player to ever scored 40 goals in the Primera Division. This season he is locked in a battle with Messi once more, with 50 goals in all competitions already, 35 in La Liga. Ronaldo is tenth in the Spanish giants’ all-time top goalscorer list, and quite incredibly, if he hits the net against Mallorca and Barcelona in the reverse fixtures this term, will have scored against every team in the top flight in the one campaign.

Ronaldo won the Ballon dOr in 2008, beating Messi into the runners-up spot, and although his adversary has been recognised in an individual stance since, Ronaldo must be considered as the second best player in the world, with small margins between the top two.

The difference between the two masterful players can be measured in a couple of ways. The South American’s ‘good guy’ image of being wholesome and iconic gives him a head-start on the at times temperamental and fiery Ronaldo. Similarly, Barcelona’s success, although largely down to Messi, has helped the Argentine to claim individual praise ahead of Ronaldo, whose Real Madrid side have been outplayed by the Catalans.

However, with the capital-city side currently leading La Liga by six points and undefeated in the Champions League, the balance of power between the Clasico rivals hangs in the balance. Should Mourinho lead his side to glory this term, Ronaldo must be awarded the recognition bestowed on Messi over the last three years in Barcelona’s dominance.

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Comments (20)

  1. Absolutely right.Ronaldo deserves to win the Ballon D’Or again.

    • He goes missing on big games and Messi doesnt! Fact! Ronaldo also has 10 goals on penalty kicks which makes his goal tally look huge! Messi has more then double the amount of goals then Cristina in the CL too!!

  2. Bobby last 2 games vs Barcelona he went missing?. messi has missed 2 penalties this season and which would have made it 5 to ronaldo’ 10. penalties are not easy ask messi, rooney, lampard..etc. Ronaldo is the best player in the world but messi is the best team player. individually ronaldo is better but messi is also amazing.

  3. He is the best. Prove it in EPL as well as in La Liga while the second best (Messi) only play in La Liga and his form with Argentina does not look promising either. Messi is playing with teammates which is part of the world champions (Spain) too.

  4. PL is long ball specialties…cant put 2 passes together….Valencia beat Stoke in england, Atletico Bilbao kicked MU ass on both games…..and btw Messi scored 4 vs Arsenal and twice in finals against MU!!! Yeah Messi cant handle England!!!

  5. “The debate over who the best player in the world game is rages on”

    er, no it doesn’t. This debate was over 2 years ago. Ronaldo had his time. That was before Messi and Guardiola. From this point onwards, Ronaldo will begin to deteriorate like Roger Federer and Messi will only get better.

  6. Bobby you are just an ignorant idiot and a ronaldo hater. Ronaldo has scored in the last 2 encounters with barca and his header against them led to their only trophy last campaign. maybe he doesnt score hat tricks in the clasicos but that doesnt mean he doesnt show up. He has been the best player for madrid in every clasico of the last 3 years.As for not showing up in big games im pretty sure he has scored against every big team in europe chelsea, arsenal, milan, inter, roma, lyon, barcelona, liverpool, etc. you’re an idiot

    • Gabi you are the idiot he has average 5 goals a year in the CL while Messi has been the leading CL scorer 4 years in a row!!! 3 time Ballon D’or winner 3 years in a row for Messi!! Who is the idiot now clown?!! Wanker!!!

  7. Ronaldo is an exceptional player in his own rights and Messi too. Messi is in a team of great form now and dominating as well. So the verdict will be delivered if Ronaldo wins the league and champions league because last season he had more goals than messi in the league and yet wasn’t deemed good to get the price so let’s get our fingers crossed as Fifa typically creates another ambigous criteria that will denie Ronaldo a deserving award. Living up to his namesake’s legacy

  8. bobby he has 6(2012) 6(2011) and 7(2010) goals in the cl last 3 years so get your facts straight. yea messi has won 3 years in a row but if ronaldo wins the liga, champions and performs well at the euros theres no doubt he will win it. that will put him at 2 and messi at 3. thats not a big difference to me and ronaldos career isnt over, smart guy Dom says his career is going to deteriorate yet every year he improves his goalscoring and assists so he’s just as much an idiot as you. im not taking anything away from messi because he is great but when retards like you and dom fail to give credit where it is due just because your jealous fags that just makes me laugh at your stupidity and ignorance

  9. Gabi you are a girl and you have a crush on Cristina so your opinion does not matter!! Nuff said!

  10. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH….. what debate?!?!?!?!

    in case you havent watched a football game in the last 3 years you cant deny messi is the best. just listen to the commentaries. the words messi and best player are used interchangably… sometimes even best player of all time… messi is compared to the maradonnas, cruyffs, peles, etc… who has CR been compared to? Rooney?

    oh and by the way… messi has won more with argentina than CR has with portugal… actually, after figo and deco retired, CR has been an international flop

  11. Didn’t Pep play the youngsters at the end of the last campaign while sitting Messi since they had already wrapped up La Liga? Yes he did, that season Messi started 27 games while CR7 started 32 and CR7′s goals came from him taking 250 shots while Messi took only 150.

    Also, Messi must be able to make it out of the Clasicos in one piece, since Pepe will always be trying to slit Messi in half since he(nor any other defender in the world) can stop Messi.

    They are both great, but if I were teaching a youngster how to play soccer I would mostly show him videos of Messi. Videos of CR7 are great for learning how to shoot with power.

  12. I told you before compare Messi with Cristiano is like compare a diamond with a piece of rock. You really are football ignorant.somebody said before. Messi is Messi the rest are football players. Players like Cristiano: Ibra, Roomney, Aguero, Tevez, Silva, Xavi, Iniesta., Give Messi the best ever. I have 80 years old and I saw Football for many generations, the greatest one, but Messi is unique.

  13. Cristiano is a awesome player, not 100% sure if he is the 2nd best in the world right now. Ibra, Iniesta, Xavi, Rooney, can easily be in that position.
    but there is no doubt Messi is the best player right now, and He can become the best ever.

    • really? xavi and iniesta this campaign? even ronaldo has more assists than those two “playmakers”. and ibra and rooney? have you watched football the last 3 years? rooney isnt even the best striker in the epl let alone england anymore and ibra really doesnt do much either. ronaldo is rightfully placed 2nd and the only close contender is maybe van persie or gomez and robben

      • I did the last 30 years. sorry to break your fellings about Ronaldo, but I even like Karim Benzema better in that team. One more time Ronaldo is awesome, but no close to be the best in the word. And not sure about he’s 2nd.
        Cheers!

      • and by the way stop using @aram lines, he is a lot cooler LOL