In terms of the all time great debates, who is better out of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo probably beats out even which came first out of the chicken or the egg.
It’s the one question that divides the footballing world, but this year, even the most ardent of Ronaldo fans (and Ronaldo himself) have already conceded that the Ballon d’Or is set to go back to Messi.
Ronaldo has been by no means bad, recording his best ever season personally in terms of his individual stats, but since 2015 came around, there has only been one winner in the race to be crowned the best player in the world, and that’s Messi.
In fact, Messi has been so good that he not only evades defenders everywhere, but it turns out he’s done a pretty decent job of evading his taxes over the last few years too.
With that in mind, here are five reasons Messi has beaten Ronaldo this year.
The most recent of humiliations for Ronaldo and Real Madrid.
Los Blancos were poor – Ronaldo made fewer passes in the 90 minutes he was on the field than Messi did in the 30 minutes he graced the greatest game in club football with his presence.
In fact, Ronaldo’s performance only escaped being the worst thing about the game because of his side’s collective lack of effort.
It didn’t stop the crowd at the Bernabeu booing Ronaldo off after the final whistle though.
Trophies, Trophies, Trophies
Barcelona won it all last season and Messi was a huge part of that.
Messi seems to value collective achievements over personal ones, and while Ronaldo would probably have taken a trophyless season with Real Madrid in exchange for the Ballon d’Or, you can’t see Messi saying the same.
Funnily enough, it’s the Liga title, the Copa and the Champions League title that will see Messi beat Ronaldo out for the individual accolades this year – and rightly so.
During Barca’s run to the Champions League final, Messi was unstoppable and produced world class performances time and time again.
His goals, his link-up play and his all round contribution really did go to the next level – a realisation that was both frightening and compelling in equal measure for all watching him.
Ronaldo is brilliant, but quite how good he makes the players around him is coming into serious doubt.
Hi partnership with Gareth Bale is sinking faster than Manchester City’s defence without Vincent Kompany, whereas the MSN as they’ve been dubbed, are flourishing.
Neymar and Luis Suarez have as good a shout as anyone of being next to Ronaldo and Messi on the stage in Zurich, and both have taken their game to the next level in the last season – and Messi has helped them do that.
For as good as Messi has been, Barcelona have shown they’re not ‘Messi dependant’, and ironically, the Argentinian has been one of the main factors in Neymar and Suarez flourishing and allowing the team as a whole to grow. Try as he might, Ronaldo cannot say the same about the BBC.
Injured? No Problem
Speaking of Barcelona not being a one man team – Messi has missed a large chunk of the season, and while Neymar and Suarez have stepped up in his absence, Ronaldo has failed to take advantage and get his personal stats up.
Coming back from injury during the Clasico, Messi still had the most goals and assists in 2015 – showing just how prolific he’s been, and how off the pace Ronaldo has been since the 2015/16 season kicked off.
Even in terms of the 2015/16 season, it’s another Barcelona player, Neymar, who leads the charts for goals, assists and chances created.
2015 Has Been The Year Of Messi
Ronaldo had a sublime year in 2014, but after his Ballon d’Or win (and that celebration), Messi lifted his already superhuman efforts up a notch.
The 2015 Messi is something we haven’t seen before and the player is a dead cert to lift his 5th – yes FIFTH – Ballon d’Or award this time around.
You name the record, Messi has broken it, and while Ronaldo outscored Messi by three goals when taking all competitions into account last season, since the turn of the year, there is no question who the personal and collective accolades belong to.