The Messi/Ronaldo debate

Jorge Navarro, Staff Member

There has been a debate going on for years discussing whether Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi are the greatest of all time in soccer. Both Messi and Ronaldo are widely considered the two best players to play the sport in history; they have both broken incredible records along with their extremely dominant play styles which have led them to consistent success during their careers.

Comparison between physical attributes of Messi and Ronaldo is pretty ridiculous. Ronaldo comes in at 6-foot-1 inches, and weighs about 185 pounds. Messi is only 5-foot-7-inches, and weighs around 160 pounds. The beauty of soccer is that measurements and physical attributes don’t always mean very much. Comparisons between the two begin with the amount of goal contributions each player has had in their career. Ronaldo has the upper hand with 770 goals throughout 19 seasons played professionally. Meanwhile, Messi has only scored 734 goals, but he has only played 17 seasons in his career. Ronaldo has 224 assists, while Messi has 309 assists.

An assessment some use to measure greatness would be trophies won with their teams. Messi has won 35 total titles, all of them being with Barcelona from Spain. Ronaldo is right behind him with 33 titles won, but he has won with multiple teams including Real Madrid, Manchester United, Juventus, and one trophy with his national team, Portugal. In terms of individual success Messi has Ronaldo beat by winning six Ballon d’or compared to Ronaldo’s five. A Ballon d’or is a special trophy given to the best player of the season in the world.

In the end, these numbers and statistics don’t really matter very much. The two players play different positions and roles for their teams. It isn’t really possible to completely compare side by side because there are different circumstances surrounding each player. If both players played the same position, then the argument between who is greater would be valid. Since they don’t, we should just enjoy them while they are still playing the sport.