Five reasons why Cristiano Ronaldo is better than Lionel Messi

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel MEssi

For the past decade, Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona‘s Lionel Messi have been fighting for the Ballon d’Or, with no other player winning the award since 2008.

There’s no doubt Ronaldo and Messi are two of the greatest footballers of all time, but there are still doubts as to who is the best.

Football Weeks has five reasons why Ronaldo is better than his rival Messi.

Ronaldo has proven himself in many leagues

While the Barcelona legend has spent his entire career at the Camp Nou, Ronaldo has proven his ability in the Portuguese Primeira Liga, Premier League and La Liga.

The Portuguese international left a mark in England before joining Real Madrid with a record of 84 goals and 34 assists in 196 appearances. He shone in a league considered to be one of the toughest in the world, while Messi has yet to prove himself outside of Spain.

It’s also worth nothing that Ronaldo’s first Ballon d’Or win in 2008 came while he was at Manchester United, beating Messi and then-Liverpool striker Fernando Torres. He also helped the Red Devils to Champions League glory in 2007/089.

Wealth of international success

Ronaldo has won a European Championship with Portugal while Messi has only lost finals with Argentina. He won Olympic Gold in 2008 but its a far cry from the major international honours he seeks.

Messi has been unable to lead his national side to international success, losing three finals in the World Cup and Copa America, despite Argentina boasting talent such as Paulo Dybala, Gonzalo Higuain, Angel Di Maria, Carlos Tevez and Mauro Icardi.

Superior leadership

While Messi shows leadership with his performances on the field, Ronaldo is a better motivator and spurs his teammates into action with pre-match and half-time talks.

An example of this was shown at the 2016 European Championships final where the 33-year-old motivated his teammates from the touchline after going off earlier within an injury.

Messi, on the other hand, is not outspoken and isn’t considered a natural leader for Argentina or Barcelona.

All-round ability

Ronaldo is an all-round player and often uses all parts of his body to score goals. The Portuguese international is way ahead of his rival when it comes to heading and is also capable of using both feet  to score goals. Messi seldom uses anything other than his left foot.

Ronaldo’s height makes him aerially superior and able to bully opponents in set piece opportunities, as shown against Juventus in the Champions League.

Ronaldo gets better with age

Ronaldo is a better player than he was five years ago. The same annotations cannot be said of Messi, however, given he’s lost the Ballon d’Or to Ronaldo in four of the last five years.

The 33-year-old has lost his pace but none of his ability and has been prolific as a makeshift centre-forward, leading Real to three Champions Leagues in the last four seasons.

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Bertrand Francois is the editor of Football Weeks. An experienced online and print journalist, Jamie has worked for IRAIW, Arsenal Presser, Soccerlens and countless other media sources over the years. He is from Republic Du Benin and lives in the busiest town Cotonou. - Facebook and Twitter