Cristiano Ronaldo vs Lionel Messi: Ten Reasons Why the Real Madrid goal-machine is head and shoulders above his Barcelona rival

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The rivalry between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi has been going on for almost a decade now, as the two superstars battle it out for supremacy. Playing for Barcelona and Real Madrid respectively has only magnified their competition, too.

Messi is seen as a team player, with no big ego attached, which is the polar opposite to Ronaldo. Although their battles are never personal, the latter does not win as many popularity contests.

But here are ten reasons why the Portuguese star is better than his Argentine nemesis.

1. Finishing

As he’s got older, Ronaldo has changed from a flying winger into a complete goal machine. He has scored 50 or more goals in every season since 2010 and shows no sign of slowing down. Ronaldo rarely misses the target and always gets himself into the best possible positions to score.

While Messi prefers to pass at times, Ronaldo is always focussed on the aim of scoring goals. His records are sublime, as Real Madrid’s all time top goalscorer and the man with the most in the Champions League.

2. Leadership

Ronaldo is viewed as selfish, but in reality he gives his all for the team. While Lionel Messi missed a penalty in the Copa America final of 2016, his rival’s Portugal team were winning the European Championships with an injured Ronaldo screaming instructions on the touchline like a manager.

He could be seen encouraging his teammates as they went into a penalty shootout earlier in the competition. Captain or not, everyone knows Ronaldo is boss.

3. Teamwork

Okay, so he may get annoyed if someone else scores instead of him and his goal celebration may be the most arrogant, self-indulgent thing in football, but Ronaldo is still an advocate of teamwork.

He wants young players to do well, he always gets everyone involved in trophy celebrations and he almost always passes the ball (well, sometimes). Just don’t steal his Ballon d’Or…

4. Ballon d’Ors

Speaking on the award that decides who is the best player in the world, Ronaldo has now won it four times and is likely to win it again this year. That will see him equal Messi’s record, but crucially he’ll have won it twice in a row.

While Barcelona have struggled in the last two seasons, Real Madrid have excelled and Ronaldo’s sublime performances are being rewarded each and every year it seems.

5. The big occasion

While Messi has struggled to make an impact in some crucial games in recent years, Ronaldo has always been there with fantastic performances. In the 2008 Champions League final at Manchester United, he scored a header to put them ahead. Forget the fact he missed his penalty in the shootout. Come on, they still won the game.

In the 2014 Champions League final, Ronaldo scored a crucial goal in the 4-1 win for Real Madrid against city rivals Atletico, before scoring his winning penalty against the same opposition two years later. Last year, against Juventus, he popped up again, guiding Los Blancos to their 12th European crown.

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6. Superstar status

Both Messi and Ronaldo have huge fan followings, but there is something about Ronaldo which makes him better in this sense. He loves the limelight, the modelling, the chat shows, and the public eye in general. It shows with his staggering 60million Twitter followers. Messi does not have an account, but lags way behind in terms of Facebook, with 89million in comparison with Ronaldo’s 122million.

Be it Real Madrid fans, Portugal fans or football fans in general, they all love Ronaldo’s style and not only do they follow him on the internet, but they do by copying his moves on the pitch, too.

7. WAGs

Lionel Messi has just got married to his childhood sweerheart, but Ronaldo has been with a lot of good looking women in his time, and although he is yet to find one to settle down with, having just had twins, giving him three children, may be he has, in fact, found just what he’s been looking for?

8. Been there, done that.

One of the biggest question marks over Messi is would he be able to recreate his form away from Barcelona and, particularly, in the Premier League with the changeable whether and physical approach.

Such question marks are not needed for Ronaldo because he has already shown his quality in England with Manchester United. The Portuguese star became a real specimen with the Red Devils and has never looked back. He’s proven it in TWO countries and conquered them both.

9. The national team

As mentioned above, Ronaldo has now, officially, done better on the international stage than Messi. Winning Euro 2016 with an arguably poor Portugal side showed just how good he is. Swansea flop Ederson scored in the final vs France.

Meanwhile, a star-studded Argentina side have never been able to win anything with Messi despite reaching two major finals in three years. The World Cup came and went as Germany were victorious in 2014, while Chile beat them in the Copa America, prompting Messi to retire in a huff, only to reverse the decision a few months later.

10. Development

Last, but not least, Ronaldo is still going strong, winning awards and being decisive at 32. He’ll be 33 in December, yet he looks like he could dominate the world for much longer, when others start to think about retirement.

His contract at Real Madrid runs until he’s 36 and there’s no doubting he has the ability to see it out. He has set the bar in so many ways for Messi, including how to stay at the top even when you pass your irrepressible peak.

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