Who Is Better: Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi?

While Barcelona’s historic run in the last few years and Lionel Messi’s mesmerizing form have gotten most of the coverage in the media, one player appears ever closer to helping Real Madrid dethrone the Catalans as La Liga champions. This star player is none other than Cristiano Ronaldo who has flourished and has been on an absolute tear since moving to Los Blancos after a successful spell with Manchester United.

What the Portuguese forward has done in terms of scoring goals surpasses even the great Lionel Messi. While Messi is undoubtedly the world’s best player and perhaps one of the greatest to ever play the beautiful game, Ronaldo was the Spanish league’s top scorer last season. Below is a list of his achievements since joining Los Blancos:

1) Ronaldo has scored an incredible 98 goals in just 89 La Liga matches. Last season, he achieved a remarkable tally of 40 league goals in just 34 matches. This season, he has already managed 32 goals in just 26 league games.

2) In three years, he has scored 19 goals in just 24 European matches. Ronaldo won the Champions League with Manchester United but his objective is to lift the European trophy with the Madrid side. That would be a historic achievement since it would reaffirm Real at the top of European football with a total of 10 European Cups if they can win this season.

3) In the 2010-11 season, Ronaldo became Real’s all-time leading scorer for a single season with a total of 53 goals in just 54 matches in all competitions. That surpassed the previous record of 49 goals for a Real player set by the legendary Ferenc Puskas.

4) Last season, Ronaldo also broke the record for all-time goals scored in a single season in La Liga. His 40 goals were two more than the previous best record achieved by two players, including Real’s Hugo Sanchez.

5) Ronaldo has won the Golden Shoe award twice, once each with Manchester United and Real. In doing so, the Portuguese star became the first player ever to win the award in two different European leagues.

There is no doubt Ronaldo has been one of the world’s best players in the past several years. He has won almost every individual award there is in football and has achieved remarkable things as an individual with both Manchester and Real. However, and despite his many trophies with Manchester, his trophy stint in Spain has so far yielded just the single Copa del Rey triumph last season.

Ronaldo will be measured by the league titles and the Champions League trophies he wins with Real. At this point, he has been overshadowed by Messi and rightfully so. Los Blancos have not been able to defeat Barca in league play since Ronaldo joined the club a few years ago. Real’s sole triumph over Barca was last season’s Copa del Rey final. Otherwise, the Catalans have eliminated Real in the Champions League last season and in the Spanish Cup this season while beating their bitter rivals at their home turf in Madrid earlier in league play this season.

Ronaldo still has the chance to achieve a league win over Barca when the two clubs meet at the Camp Nou. He can finally displace Barca as champions in the domestic league barring a sudden collapse by Los Blancos. Real’s lead in the league is comfortable enough for the club to afford a defeat in Barca and still win the championship as long as Jose Mourinho’s players remain consistent in the other fixtures.

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