Lionel Messi vs. Cristiano Ronaldo

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Difference between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo

Football is a sport that definitely has no shortage of newsworthy characters, and the present is no exception. Among today's most popular names in football are Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, and it is these two superstars that are the subjects of this comparison article.


Lionel Messi was born on June 24, 1987. Originally from Argentina, Messi now plays for FC Barcelona and the Argentinean national team, in which he plays either the forward or winger position. He is also eligible to play for Europe, since he holds Spanish citizenship. Messi is widely considered to be one of the best football players of his generation, and of the current football scene in general.

Cristiano Ronaldo from Portugal was born on February 5, 1985. He plays in either the winger or forward positions for Spain’s La Liga club Real Madrid, and is the captain of the Portuguese national team as well.


Messi has received numerous Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year nominations, many of which were made before he even turned 21. By the time he turned 22, Messi had been awarded both titles. Many sports analysts and fans have compared his playing style to the legendary Diego Maradona, who was himself sufficiently impressed with Messi to call him his "successor".

Ronaldo is currently the highest paid player in the history of the sport, having transferred from Manchester United to Real Madrid in a deal worth £80 million. His contract with Real Madrid also earns him a further £11 million per year over the next six years, making him the highest-paid player in the sport worldwide.

Ronaldo won the Champions League playing for United in 2008, and he was also named player of the tournament. Among his other accomplishments are World Player of the Year of FIFPro and the FIFA, and the first Ballon d'Or winner from Manchester United in 4 decades. Johan Cruyff who himself has won the Ballon d'Or three times has said of Ronaldo that “[he] is better than George Best and Denis Law.” Best and Law were two of the best players of United.

Playing Styles

Messi is an aggressive player, although his style differs greatly from Ronaldo’s. While Ronaldo tends to use sheer power to wear down the opponent’s defense, Messi is more likely to execute moves that involve his other teammates. He is particularly adept at shooting off ‘one-two’ passes that create space. Messi is also harder to keep up with on the field, since he always relies on players around him. Ronaldo on the other hand tends to be more of a lone wolf, relying more on his own maneuvers instead of working closely with his teammates.

Similarities and Differences

Lionel Messi

  • Now plays for FC Barcelona and the Argentinean national team
  • Widely considered to be one of the best football players of his generation

Cristiano Ronaldo

  • Plays for La Liga club Real Madrid
  • Is the captain of the Portuguese national team
  • The highest-paid player in the world

Who is a better player?
  • Lionel Messi
  • Cristiano Ronaldo

Discuss It: comments 2

  • Guest
  • GRANT wrote on June 2013


  • Guest
  • GRANT wrote on June 2013


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