Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo’s superhuman achievements in football have have set them apart from the rest.
The superstar pair will forever be linked to one another as their one-in-a-trillion careers just so happened to occur at the same time — luckily for us.
In terms of records and personal accolades they are similar in many ways.
But to appreciate them both fully we must also look at the differences.
The following stat highlights the degree of separation between the two’s contrasting, yet equally effective styles.
Messi needs to complete just six more take-ons (dribbles) this season to match Ronaldo’s total number of take-ons from last season.
The Argentine forward is likely to match his Portuguese counterpart’s tally from last term just four games into this campaign.
This stat perfectly highlights their stylistic differences.
Messi roams the field in possession, committing defenders while patiently looking for an opening, while Ronaldo is devastatingly direct and efficient.
There’s more than one way to skin a cat, as the old saying goes.
Messi is the artist, Ronaldo is the machine.
This stat also reinforces Ronaldo’s evolution as a player.
In his Sporting CP and early Man United days his take-ons would have been through the roof.
But as he’s matured and become an outright forward as opposed to a winger, he’s adapted his game.
These days, in his third or possibly fourth form, he’s pretty much the world’s best poacher with predatory positioning and instincts to match.
Few players, if any, would have been able to extend their peak through such canny adaption.
You could also look as headed goals to reinforce the difference between the two.
Yes, Ronaldo is physically taller but his approach (and Real Madrid’s in general) also means he winds up on the end of crosses more often than the diminutive Messi, who is more likely to be the one providing the cross.
Whereas Ronaldo has remodelled his game several times throughout his career (each time with great success), Messi has more or less stuck to the original blueprint.
Whatever your preference you have to admire and respect these two legends.
Let’s enjoy every second of them before all we have left is YouTube compilations.
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