Messi Or Ronaldo, Today’s Best?


If you were faced with a vote of confidence today, without sentiments on who deserves the tag of World player of the year, today, which of these two stars would get your nod?

With the latest controversy raging over Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, We cannot help but put a microscope on these two living legends of the game, try to evaluate their strengths in several departments of the game and see if they are still true, Today.

We grade each player in several categories to try to determine who really is the best, Today!  Has Messi lost his grip on the crown of World player of the year that he has had a grip on for several years now at the detriment of Cristiano Ronaldo?


Has Ronaldo done enough to dethrone his long-time rival by his 2013 calendar year performances?

Please note the key words here, we are evaluating their qualities and if they have maintained it with their 2013 calendar year performances and only about on the pitch and football related performance and not off the pitch controversies or sentiments.

Speed On The Ball

Messi : In the legendary Pep Guardiola’s words, which is in unison with mine: “Lionel Messi is the fastest player I have ever seen with the ball at his foot” he continues “ he is faster making a run with the ball as making one without it”

An inform Messi drives  defenders insane  with his high tempo dribbling with the ball at his feet with his ability to not only break out with speed but also change direction at the same time without losing pace.

Ronaldo: How fast Ronaldo plays can only be understood when you watch him play, live! He explodes in a phenomenal pace that leaves most defenders stranded and helpless. Though needs more room than Messi to be explosive, he seems to glide in the air when in full throttle.

That is quite logic when you consider that he is way taller than Lionel Messi.


Modern day football demands that all players participate in their teams defending. To what extent however varies from player to player.

Messi often initiates the high pressing by his team often in the opponents half but rarely do we see him defend or follow deep down into his own goal area.

It must however be noted that Barcelona often average 65% of ball possession therefore Messi is not forced or required to defend that much.

It is quite impressive the amount of work off the ball defensively that Ronaldo puts In for Real Madrid when he plays for example. He not only helps deep down into his own goal area but plays a major role in defending set pieces like corner kicks etc. against his team. A point few critics are happy to signal.

His defensive generosity explains why he if more sanctioned with Yellow cards than his Rival.


Ronaldo is so good at this department he practically invented a shooting style, where the ball takes a bizarre but effective spin and depth just before it reaches the goal keeper. Each season he scores loads of goals from long range shooting and is excellent at this exercise with both feet.

Messi excels at shooting but more from a closer range to goal. Prefers to “strike the ball with a curling effect” as against sheer strength and power.

Once again caution must be exercised here as Barcelona’s playing style of “Tiki Taka”  into the opponents goal area presents Messi with the luxury of often having to strike at Goal from a Close range.


Ball Control & Technique:

If there were ever two players of the same generation closer to a 10 from 10 rating in ball control and technique they are Messi and Ronaldo.

Be it close control, aerial, mid-section etc they excel with Ronaldo seeming to have an edge with his artistic mastery of this art. Loads of Youtube videos attest to this.

But Messi has an edge when we consider running with ball control techniques, dribbling in little room areas etc.

Physical fitness

Lionel Messi once went over 25 games without missing one for Barcelona. This is only achievable if as a player, one is exceptionally fit and rested. And his high level fitness enables him to contain ceaseless assaults he has to endure from defenders though measuring at 1m.69.

Cristiano Ronaldo is so fit that he models for underwear and is known to be a workaholic though due to his playboy looks, critics fail to see or admit it that he is probably the most fit player there is today.


2013 goal scoring statistics goes clearly in Ronaldo’s favour. Messi  has struggled to stay fit as hamstring injuries have multiplied and as such has missed key games this year unlike Ronaldo who is yet to miss a game due to injuries.


Most would be forced to say Lionel Messi is more of a team player, celebrates his goals in a team like manner whilst Ronaldo is all about himself, chest pumping etc

Wouldn’t life be boring if we were all the same and never accepted that we must be different to progress?

Could it be that Messi has a team player look more to the fact that he plays in a club that all the players sacrifice their individual glories in service of the Golden Goose Messi?  and being a good Fella that he is, thanks them back in this way, whilst Ronaldo plays  in an opposite kind of team and has to score most of his goals out of nothing or near nothing?

Imagine 2013 run-up to world player of the year build-up when most Barcelona players came out publicly and put their weight behind Messi as the deserved winner whilst at Real Madrid, most Spanish players turned their public support in favour of their goalkeeper Ike Cassillas!

Kind of hard to show team love when it’s not reciprocal.


Personally I feel Frank Ribery of Bayern Munich is the world’s best player, Today !

What do you think? Share it with me and the world via This medium, or Twitter:  @Sundayooliseh

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November 2, 2013 1:15 pm Published by

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