The argument about who is a better player between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi will never go away. Not in my books anyway because I don’t like it when they say Messi is better. Messi is a fantastic player no doubt in fact out of this world but I have always maintained the presence of Xavi Hernandez and the best player in the world (Andreas Iniesta) make him tick. Take a look at the Argentine national team, yea they have great players but not in the mold of Xavi (his vision is superb), Iniesta (amazing ball skills) and Sergio Busquets whom you never notice until you view the game a second time. My point though, Ronaldo is surrounded by great players like Mesut Ozil, Xabi Alonso, Sami Khedira and Angelo Di Maria but no disrespect the cohesion present in the Barca line up isway better than the one existing in the Madrid side. A look at the top 5 players in the world the last few seasons show Iniesta and Xavi along with Messi are always present in the list which can attest to the fact that the Barcelona players are slightly better because Ronaldo is the only Madrid player that often competes on that list.
Ronaldo has been crowned player of the year once compared to Messi’s four triumphs. I however have a problem with two of the four Messi wins. I am cool with his 2009 success. He was brilliant that year (he always has been) winning the La Liga, Champions league, Copa Del Rey, Super Cup, the Fifa world club cup and whatever they entered for with Barcelona. In 2010 Messi didn’t deserve to be player of the year. Asides the league what else did he achieve? Who deserved it? Wesley Sneijder should have won it after an awesome display with Inter Milan in the Champions league, he also won the league, Coppa Italia, Supercoppa Italiana and Fifa club world cup with them and led Holland’s quest for the World cup in South Africa that year though they lost to Spain in the final. Andreas Iniesta could also have easily won the Balon d’or in 2010 after winning the World cup for Spain (not single handedly though). The player of the year usually comes from the team that wins a major tournament in that year, hence Iniesta the best choice.
2011 Messi truly deserved it. He won the Champions league with Barca after they beat my Red Devils 3-1 in the final at Wembley. This was their 2nd victory over United in the final in 3 seasons. They also won the league, Super cup and the Fifa world club cup. The year 2012 is where my second concern lies. Lionel Messi scored 91 goals in one calendar year? Absolutely a great record, but really is the award based on goals scored only? My friend Walenchi XL says it wasn’t the goal that handed him Messi the crown, then what? The Copa Del Rey? Iniesta too also won the Copa Del Rey and Euro 2012. So what’s the big deal?
Ronaldo often played second fiddle to the little man (Messi) every time he won the Balon d’or. Cristiano has been runner up to Lionel Messi three (2009, 2011, and 2012) of the four times Messi won it.
Champions league is back and the game that made headlines this week was the one involving Real Madrid versus my beloved Manchester United, I don’t mean to disrespect the other teams that played. The Madrid game saw Cristiano Ronaldo come up against the club that nurtured and enhanced his talents. The game lived up to expectation and I must confess Real Madrid had the better performance and at some point I thought the Madrid players outnumbered Man Utd in terms of personnel. You would think about 3 of the United lads were red carded. Man Utd scored first after Wayne Rooney’s corner kick was headed into the net by Danny Welbeck. His first goal in 27 games for the Red Devils, the dude surely pops up with important goals. The lead however lasted for 10 mins and the man of the day, Ronaldo stepped up and up did he go with a leap reminiscent of the Jordan hang time. I really didn’t know how long Ronaldo was in the air for when he nodded home Madrid’s equalizer but trust me I have viewed this goal a hundred times and still I don’t know how long he was in the air for because my mouth was always opened ajar whenever he lept. There was also a joke about the goal that went thus “Evra looked up to Ronaldo whilst nodding the ball as if Ronaldo was the author and finisher of his faith”. Hilarious. There’s no point comparing that goal with the one he scored for Man U against Chelsea in the Champions league final in Moscow when United won it in 2008.
Manchester United could have had it worse thanks to Phil Jones who man marked Ronaldo and limited him to passing or taking shots as soon as he got the ball. Jones was all over Ronaldo frustrating him. Rafael and David De Gea (my man of the match) who had a wonderful return to his home town gave a good account of themselves. I still rate this game 50-50 though.
I want to conclude this post by saying Ronaldo is a better player than Messi * bite me*. Ronaldo can perform and will perform anywhere on this planet, I can’t say same about Messi because he hasn’t been anywhere else but Barcelona. Ronaldo contributes defensively and offensively. Ask Evra, Marcelo, Gary Neville, Arbeloa et al. Remove Xavi and Iniesta and Messi would be isolated.
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Twitter handles: @theswizzmemoirs or @dipoogun
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