The eternal question in football when it comes to the Lionel Messi vs. Cristiano Ronaldo rivalry is, who is the best. A new study tells fans who walks away with the title in 2015.
One is flashy, the other one isn’t. They have two completely different styles on the field, but are both lethally deadly and precise when they’re on, and it is impossible to stop wondering who the best truly is.
A new study from the CIES Football Observatory indicates that Lionel Messi is the top performing footballer in the European leagues in 2015. Where does Cristiano Ronaldo stand? In a dismal 29th place.
The results are surprising considering the past two seasons for the Portuguese forward, who has taken the Ballon d’Or as the best of the best two years in a row. During the 2014-2015 season, Ronaldo is not as effective as he has been in the past few years.
There is no question that last season was Ronaldo’s, despite his team’s poor performance during the World Cup in Brazil, due in part to his nagging injuries. Portugal was swiftly sent home in the first round and his Real Madrid team failed to win the La Liga title.
Despite the fact that Ronaldo keeps adding to his impressive pedigree, Lionel Messi has had a brilliant season in La Liga and the UEFA Champions League. Both players currently have 75 goals scored in the tournament. Messi did it in 94 games, while it took Ronaldo 111 games to get the same results.
The CIES study looks at six key performing indicators to rank the players, ESPN explains.
Shooting: ability to take advantage of goal opportunities through accurate shooting
Chance creation: ability to put teammates in a good position to score
Take on: ability to create dangerous situations by successfully challenging opponents
Distribution: ability to keep a hold on the game through efficient passing
Recovery: ability to minimize goal opportunities for opponents through proficient interception work
Rigor: ability to minimize goal opportunities for opponents through robust dueling
According to the Football Observatory in the Messi vs. Ronaldo debate, the Argentine ranks No. 1 in the forwards category with 17-goals, followed by Bayern Munich striker Arjen Robben, and Wolfsburg’s Bas Dost.
Incredible ball control & goal by Cristiano Ronaldo pic.twitter.com/LyTmMdQkYs
— Cristiano Ronaldo (@RonaIdoStats) March 29, 2015
Cristiano Ronaldo’s effort at goal in the first half against Serbia. #ForçaPortugal https://t.co/Bu6ZfORcec
— Cristiano Ronaldo (@TheCRonaldoFan) March 29, 2015
— Lionel_Messi (@Lionel_Messi) March 30, 2015
Luka Modric saw Lionel Messi coming. Well would you want messi nutmegging you? https://t.co/ObND3WGYnq
— Football Fights (@FootbalIFights) March 26, 2015
The answer to the question of who the best player in the world is will remain as the Lionel Messi vs. Cristiano Ronaldo rivalry grows each passing season. They face-off in La Liga in Barcelona and Real Madrid, respectively.
Are you surprised by the results of the CIES Football Observatory study?
[Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images]