Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi's rivalry has become so intense that it's now eclipsed almost every other soccer rivalry in the history of the sport.
One of the most intense arguments in the sport's history is whether Pele is better than Maradona. But they never played during the same era, let alone in the same league, which is why many soccer fans feel like you can legitimately compare Messi and Ronaldo's efforts.
Of course, there is no correct answer to this quandary. Both of them are soccer phenomenons who continue to score unbelievable goals and create a hoard of chances for their teammates on a weekly basis. In fact, as The Inquisitr reported last week, a graph created to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Messi's debut for Barcelona proved that the pair had created the same amount of chances and goals in this period.
Ronaldo fans could argue that he is currently in the richer vein of form, as he has already scored 20 goals this season in just over two months worth of playing. To put this fantastic achievement in context, Michael Owen, arguably the most feared English striker to play the game in the last 20 years, had the highest ever amount of goals for an entire season, which was 18 goals.
However, Messi has won the European Cup on more occasions than Ronaldo. He's also won the FIFA Ballon d'Or, which recognizes the best player in the world, four times. Ronaldo has only picked up this prestigious gong twice.
But what has happened when Ronaldo and Messi have played in the El Clasico? The Independent has created a handy graph that looked at their performances in this hotly competed contest, which sees Real Madrid take on Barcelona.
Messi has played in the encounter 28 times, scoring 21 goals, making 12 assists. Meanwhile, Ronaldo has only played in the game 21 times, scoring 13 goals, but only making 2 assists. This means that Ronaldo has 0.43 goals per game and 0.1 assists, while Messi has a more substantial 0.75 goals per game and 0.62 assists.
Is this more substantial proof that Messi is better than Ronaldo? Absolutely not. But it's just yet another graph that proves how formidable the pair are when they play soccer.
Meanwhile, ahead of Real Madrid vs Barcelona, Ronaldo has dismissed his rivalry with the diminutive Argentinian, explaining, "I am not going to play against Messi, I am going to play against Barcelona."
[Image via Futbolete & Wallhud]