Arguably one of the greatest football arguments in the last ten years is the debate on who is the best footballer in the world, Messi or Ronaldo.

While a lot of Barcelona fans believe that Messi is better, majority of Real Madrid and Manchester United fans believe that Cristiano Ronaldo is the better footballer of the two.

In this article, I want to share with you five reasons why I personally believe that Lionel Messi is the better footballer among the two.


1. Goal Record: Yes, you saw that clearly. While a lot of Ronaldo's supporters believe that he is better than Messi because he scores more goals, I will like you to take a closer look at something else.

Do you know that Messi has a higher goal per game ratio than Ronaldo? Yes, he has that going for him.

For those who don't know what goal per game ratio is, it is the average number of goals a player scores per game. For instance, if I scored 40 goals in 50 games, my goal per game ratio will be 40/50. And that will mean, I have a goal per game ratio of 0.8. 

Over the course of the career of both players, Messi has had a higher goal per game ratio.

2. Teamplay: Lionel Messi is a better team player than Cristiano Ronaldo. Messi scores, assists, creates chances, opens up spaces and does a lot of other things for his teammates.

Ronaldo on the other hand, is just primarily a goal scoring machine. If you take away goals from Cristiano Ronaldo, you might end up having just an average footballer.

In this regard, Messi is a lot more complete. And yes, although Messi doesn't defend, you can't have a player of Messi's quality in your team and ask him to defend. Also note that Cristiano Ronaldo doesn't defend too.

3. Trophies won and personal awards won: During the 9 years Ronaldo stayed in Spain, Messi won the LaLiga six times. Real Madrid were almost non contenders with Barcelona for the LaLiga title as they usually came second behind Barcelona.

And you can argue that Real Madrid won the champions league 3 times back to back. But also, don't forget that Barcelona did all six trophies including the champions league and the club world cup with Messi. They also won the treble with Messi in 2015.

And in terms of personal awards, Ronaldo is only behind Messi. Messi has more FIFA player of the year, UEFA golden shoe and IFFHS playmaker of the year awards than Ronaldo.

4. International Trophies: While many argue that Cristiano Ronaldo never had a sound national team, that does not take away the fact that Messi has done immense work with the Argentina national team.

First of all, Messi has won the world cup for his country. And before you call that a fluke, remember that he has won the world cup golden ball twice. First in 2014, when he led Argentina to the final of the tournament, and then in 2022 when he actually led the team to win it. He has also led his Argentina side to Copa America glory.

Now considering the fact that Cristiano Ronaldo could win the Euros with the Portugal team he won it with, I will like to give him some credit. But that does not take away the fact that on national team levels, Messi is more successful than him.

5. Barcelona without Messi Vs Real Madrid without Ronaldo: As we all know, both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo has left the clubs they played in at the peak of their greatness.

However, how did both clubs fare without them?

Barcelona without Lionel Messi became so scattered that they had to drop from the Champions League into the Europa League. In fact, the team struggled badly without him.

On the other hand, three years after Cristiano Ronaldo left Real Madrid, they won the Champions League. They also won the LaLiga after he left.

This shows that Messi was more important to Barcelona than Ronaldo was to Real Madrid.


Having proven clearly that Lionel Messi is better than Cristiano Ronaldo, I will like to say that Cristiano is still a very great player. In fact he is one of the greatest players of this generation, but just that Messi is greater than him.

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