Watching Barcelona getting beat on Tuesday has brought up a question I have often thought about: would you pick Ronaldo or Messi in their prime to play for us?
The last 10 years have been dominated by two football greats: Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. Even though both players have scooped every individual award over the past decade, there can be only one, but which of them is it?
Messi and Ronaldo differ mostly in their style. Ronaldo is like a machine with great physical abilities and a huge amount of talent but I think Messi is a greater natural talent. He is a virtuoso and his dribbling is considered to be the best, he also passes and shoots with amazing precision.
Messi has won more titles since he plays for a better team, not because he is a better player than Ronaldo. For example, Messi has played with Xavi Hernandez and Andrés Iniesta, two of the best midfielders of our era.
The part that puts Ronaldo ahead in my opinion is his international career. Messi has never won an international trophy. He lost finals in both the Copa America (the South America championship) and the World Cup. Meanwhile, Ronaldo led his Portugal side to win the 2016 European Championship.
His three World Cup trophies fixed Pele’s stature as the best player ever and Diego Maradona winning it for Argentina in 1986 puts him before Messi. I put Messi on a par with Cruyff in the '70s as he was considered the best but Holland never won anything with him playing.
I think Messi is a better team player and more talented but I personally feel Ronaldo is more complete with a better international career.