Messi bottle flipping challenge
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in a Match. (Photo Credit: Fifa.com)

2 names which are synonymous with the gods of football- Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Even at ages greater than 30, they are the top scorers in the world. Messi with 51 and Ronaldo with 49, both achieving Silverware this year. Messi was placed like 5th in the Ballon d’Or list, while Ronaldo was 2nd. Both of their years have been terrific. But now it is time to decide; who had the better year?

Cristiano Ronaldo had shifted clubs over the Summer. His change to Juventus from Real Madrid was the front line news in every newspaper. He didn’t take long to conquer the Serie A too. Being the leading scorer of Serie A, he has also helped Juventus maintain a no-loss season yet. The team has improved considerably with Ronaldo in the team. Cancelo, Bentancur, and Mandzukic have changed from substitutes to playing 11 with his involvement. He was quintessential in Real Madrid’s glory to the Champions League. He scored 10 goals in just 6 match days for the Galacticos’. Scoring 3 goals over the 2 legs against PSG, he was the sole hero for Madrid. Against Juventus in the quarters, he had scored the goal of the season with that famous bicycle kick. And in the return leg, in the last minute of the match with the match drawn in aggregate, scored the vital penalty. In the World Cup, captaining his side he scored an amazing hat-trick against Spain to salvage a point. Throughout the season, he scored 16 in the Champions League, 20 in the La Liga, 5 for his country and 10 in the Serie A. Although the only silverware he received was a UCL winner’s medal, Cristiano has coined 2018 as the ‘Best footballing year of his year’.

On the other hand, Lionel Messi scoring 51 and assisting 20, had to what he calls it- an average season. Winning the La Liga and the Spanish Cup, he contributed like no other. With Iniesta reaching his mid 30’s, Neymar leaving for PSG, and Suarez not performing consistently, he was the backbone to the Catalonians. Scoring against arch-rivals Real Madrid both the times, he made sure that Barcelona would finish with the league trophy. He was their main assister, goal-scorer, and captain and was the heart of the Spanish cup trophy scoring 5. For his home country, he scored against Nigeria in a vital Group stage match to push Argentina through to the knock-out stages, but couldn’t progress Argentina any further. Out of his 51 goals in the season, he scored 4 for his country, 33 in the league, 5 in the Spanish Cup and  9 in the Champions League. Critics have blamed him for not motivating the side enough in their 3-0 loss to Roma in the Champions League quarter-final. Maradona further mentioned that he was the greatest player he had seen, but not the best captain. Overall, he ended the season as the top scorer in the world.

So, Ronaldo or Messi? We, at SportsGrasp, have to tilt towards the Portuguese superstar- Cristiano Ronaldo. Although he scored lesser goals than him and won less silverware, his contribution to the sides he has played for has been equally significant. Moreover, changing clubs and giving the same amazing performances tells us why he was the better of the 2 this year. His excellence matched with his adaptability, Cristiano has been impeccable in 2018.