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As of now, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are viewed as two of the best soccer players on the planet. This is because of the considerable number of honors that the two players have won with their teams and because of the skill capabilities they both have with the ball. Everything they both have accomplished has been possible with their various playing styles that characterize them and with the physically extraordinary bodies they possess. Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro (Funchal, Madeira, February 5, 1985) has reached the top starting almost from scratch. He was born in Quinta do Falcao, one of the poorest neighborhoods of Funchal, on the Portuguese island of Madeira. His father, Dinis Aveiro, kept his family working as a caretaker of the Andorinha wardrobe, the neighborhood football team. That is where Cristiano began to play, who with 6 years and left with his mouth open to his neighbors.
After a quick stint at club Sporting Lisbon, Cristiano Ronaldo became a world star at Manchester United. Ronaldo signed for Spanish club Real Madrid C. F in 2009. In this club, he demonstrated his full capabilities by winning multiple European championships and won five Ballon D’or, which is the most prestigious award for a soccer player nowadays. Figure 1 shows Cristiano with his five Ballon D’or trophies when he presented them to the Real Madrid supporters in their home stadium.
On the other hand, Lionel Andres Messi Cuccittini was conceived in Rosario, Argentina, on June 24th, 1987. He began playing football at age 5, when he joined a neighborhood club trained by his dad. He moved to Newell’s Old Boys in 1995, yet at age 11, he was diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency. The sporting director of FC Barcelona, Carles Rexach, ended up mindful of his ability and gave him an opportunity with the team, offering to pay his hospital expenses as soon as he traveled to Spain. He moved to Barcelona with his dad and enlisted in the club’s childhood foundation. Like his counterpart, Messi also won 5 Ballon D’or thanks to his outstanding performance with Football Club Barcelona, the only difference is that he achieved this by winning the award in four impressive consecutive years (2009-2012). As far as abilities are concerned, Ronaldo will go up against any defender with an unbelievable pace, and hypnotizing dribbling that characterizes him a lot. His capacity to beat a player and whip in crosses makes him a dreaded adversary. The way he takes his free-kicks, his pace and power on the pitch are an awesome resource for his team. On the other hand, Messi’s ball skills are second to none, his runs from midfield are usually lethal and he is almost impossible to tackle when he gets his head down. His parity when running at his top speed is extraordinary. Additionally, his objective scoring capacity is astounding. Such is Messi’s skill that the ball can seem stuck to his feet as he moves himself out of difficult situations and discovers partners when it appears he is surrounded. Messi, as Ronaldo, can utilize the backheel to glance effect and furthermore has an inclination for circling the ball over a defender and collecting it on the other side. Figure 2 shows how Messi dribbles through some defenders and how difficult it is to them to stop him, that is why the opposite team usually uses at least 3 players in order to stop him. Ronaldo is all more of a showman than Messi and can blow the mind with his variety of stepovers and flicks. Sometimes, when the stepovers are taking him nowhere, he chooses style over substance. He is honored with huge normal capacity and when on point, he is a delight to watch; however, he has less impact on his team matches than Messi.
It is fair to say that goals mean more in soccer than points do in most sports. And Messi scores a lot of them. Since the end of the 2010 World Cup, Messi has been responsible for 291 goals and assists in the 201 of his games in club and national team play tracked by the sports analytics company Opta.
Messi, although he is a physically easy target to face since he measures 5’7ft, he always finds a way to avoid the defender, since he is able to use his dribble to win one-on-ones and usually takes the defender perform a foul in order to stop him. By contrast, Cristiano Ronaldo is more physical when faced with other players due to his undoubted fitness and professionalism in focusing on his body.
Messi exerts more influence over more games, while Ronaldo has been accused of being a effective in the lesser matches but disappointing when it really matters. Messi has produced more great performances in the biggest games, but Ronaldo has scored slightly more goals during his professional soccer career. That might be the best litmus test of overall effectiveness, through the difference is so slight, it may be impossible to say which player is truly better.
Cristiano and Messi are two of the best players in the world without a doubt thanks to them football has not lost the magic they give everything in the field but as everything it is not our words that define him but his actions; and thanks to that, they have become two great soccer players but above all, two great people. They both demonstrated that no matter where you come from or how difficult your childhood was, if you desire and work hard on your goals, you will be able to be the number 1 on the discipline you do.
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