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No, you don't have to pick one, but I'd love to read some opinions from experts on the pros and cons of these titans vis-a-vis each other.

Maybe I should have titled this post "Ronaldo and Messi" because we're lucky to be witnessing both.

Messi reminds me of Maradona - I don't even want to get into that comparison. Who else can run faster dribbling than in a straight-out sprint?

And if this conversation turns to GOAT, go ahead and throw him in. Yes, you know who.

I would love some substantive discussion instead of just a name followed by an explanation point.

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Ronaldo was hands-down the best player this year, but the rules aren't what they are for the MVP award in American sports. He was the best player, so he gets the Ballon d'Or. But Joe is correct - Ribery was the MVP. The amount of hardware he brought home this year for Bayern was stunning.

Messi to me is out of consideration because he didn't appear enough due to injuries, so it will be interesting to see what next year's finalists look like.

Unfortunately for Ronaldo, they're in the Group of Death at the World Cup, with Germany (odds-on favorite along with Brazil), us, and underrated Ghana. I can envision scenarios that Portugal doesn't make it out of that group. (I envision a LOT of scenarios where the US doesn't make it out of that group, unfortunately). France isn't strong once you get past their top few players, and they're in a weak group, same with Argentina, but I don't think any of these guys are getting past the quarterfinals this year.

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Ronaldo pretty much "willed" Portugal thru European World Cup qualification, especially in the playoff vs. Sweden - It was the Ronaldo Show, with special guest star Zlatan Ibrahimovic for the Swedes.

As Dan said above, Messi was hit with too many injuries this year, previous to that Messi has been best player in the world he past 3-4 seasons.  His calm, compsure, and ability to waltz through defenses is breathtaking.  If you watch a YouTube video montage of his goals, it's striking how many of them are simple passes into the back of the net...he has so badly beaten the defenders that he doesn't even need to power a shot past them...they are all tap ins.        

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As Dan said above, Messi was hit with too many injuries this year, previous to that Messi has been best player in the world he past 3-4 seasons.  

Do you think Ronaldinho makes Messi a better player?

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Totally agree about Ronaldo and Messi.  I've also passionately supported Bayern Munich for almost ten years including having seen them play four times in the Allianz.  I'm a huge Robben fan but he seems to be divisive.  Regardless, the FIFA team had four Barca players to three for Bayern.  Bayern beat Barca by a composite 7-0 last year in the Champions League.

I just wish Fox Soccer Plus, a $14.95 upcharge on Verizon, was in HD and FoxSoccer2Go had decent internet streams for their $20.00 a month.  But this is another topic.  For EPL fans NBC is the best thing that could have happened.  Fox, today, is another matter.

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Totally agree about Ronaldo and Messi.  I've also passionately supported Bayern Munich for almost ten years including having seen them play four times in the Allianz.  I'm a huge Robben fan but he seems to be divisive.  Regardless, the FIFA team had four Barca players to three for Bayern.  Bayern beat Barca by a composite 7-0 last year in the Champions League.

I just wish Fox Soccer Plus, a $14.95 upcharge on Verizon, was in HD and FoxSoccer2Go had decent internet streams for their $20.00 a month.  But this is another topic.  For EPL fans NBC is the best thing that could have happened.  Fox, today, is another matter.

That's the problem with Ribery and Robben - they are diving, whining, little bitches, who crumple to the ground and cry every time they are touched by a blade of grass.  It's a waste of talent.  I'm surprised the Germans on Bayern let them get away with that.

Of course Ronaldo had that reputation when he was younger and during his Manchester United years.  He's gotten a bit better about that.

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Do you think Ronaldinho makes Messi a better player?

I'll answer the (perhaps) intended question, which is that of course having some of the absolute best players in the world on his team makes Messi better. Getting service from Xavi (extraordinarily underrated, would have probably won the Ballon d'Or in 2010 in a world where Messi doesn't exist for his work with Spain), Iniesta, etc, allows him to perform better. It's why he's been better for Barcelona than for Argentina; Barca is a better squad. (Unless your question was meant as past tense, "DID" Ronaldinho make Messi a better player, in which case the answer is yes at the beginning, but he had to go for Messi to fully blossom, and I'm sad about that because I really love Ronaldinho).

On the other hand, it isn't like Cristiano is lacking for talent in his side either, they've spent absurd sums putting together a ton of talent (that is currently in third place). And this Bayern side is absurd right now.

So, despite my Barcelona fandom, Ronaldo deserved the Ballon d'Or this year, he had the best year (even though he didn't win anything at all, and the thought of that makes me smile with glee).

---

[Yes - it was supposed to be "Do you think Pippen makes Jordan a better player?" but clumsily worded.]

Edited by DonRocks

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I am sure that every major soccer/futbal team has a website similar but this is Bayern's where English is the common language:  http://www.bayernzone.com/  It is an education to be part of this:  participants literally come from all over the world yet use English as their common language.  I am also older, perhaps much older, than most.  Still, it is a real pleasure to post on an international site like this and share in the experiences that others introduce from their own part of the earth.

I haven't even heard of some of the countries or cities that people are from and I thought I was especially worldly.

But the cultural introductions, the cultural experiences are worth a great deal.  It is fascinating to share so many different perspectives on an event-whether the event is a soccer game or a celebration or a political cause.

I know that other clubs have similar sites but they are all worth a lot.  They are much more than just a game. Truly an education.  It is a pleasure to share on here what I have found and participated with elsewhere.  Just as there I shared what I have experienced on here.

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Messi has been an incredibly fast and quick player with magical ball control for several years. Hurt or not he is magic. I played against ball magicians who are so incredibly better than you. All one can do is foul them.

Having played long ago in an environment with many good quality players of that era and at a certain lower level I marvel at the advanced ball control skills of Ronaldo, Messi and some others.  The players with advanced quickness, deftness, and ball control levels would dominate.  Then they would advance to a higher level, and others would dominate over them.  Its astounding how extraordinarily talented the players at the highest levels are relative to all others.

That Messi, Ronaldo, and a variety of others can dominate the creme de la creme at the highest level is simply extraordinary.  Over the years Messi's combination of ball control, high speed, changing directions, and scoring is truly magnificent, imho.

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Who is willing to take on the tedious task of trying to teach a tryingly tantric tinkerer (okay, I used a thesaurus for that last one) why, exactly, Messi is so fantastic?

In doing so, think: "generally intelligent but painfully ignorant about soccer." What makes Messi (or Ronaldo) so great? I haven't seen enough, and I don't know enough, to understand ... but I'm enthusiastic, and a quick study.

How much has the game changed since the days of Maradona, and how would he fare in today's game?

 

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Messi - great vision, ability to dribble through defenders, uncanny passing ability, deadly accurate with free kicks, and unselfish.

Ronaldo - clinical finisher, determined but selfish, some times does not defend and occasionally dives.

Suarez, Luis - workhorse, unselfish, bites and scores, almost carried Liverpool to EPL champion, brought treble to Barcelona followed by a double.  

In my ranking, the top 2 are now Messi and Suarez, followed by Ronaldo.

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Anyone have any comments, regarding the Ronaldo vs. Messi question, about the total goal leaders in the UEFA Champions League?

Screenshot 2018-09-16 at 14.30.22.png

Would Eric's "Messi = unselfish" and "Ronald = selfish" comments have anything to do with the number of goals scored?

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It's a subjective question with no "correct" answer.  Both are among the all-time greats.

My personal view is that Messi is more artistic, Ronaldo is more pragmatic.  Which may partially explain why Messi appears to be the more unselfish player.  The Barcelona style is, quite often, all about scoring the right way.  They score more YouTube-friendly "team goals" with intricate passing than just about everyone else.  And when all cylinders are clicking, it's beautiful to watch.

But sometimes, when not everything is clicking or when weather conditions are less than ideal (e.g., rainy, winter night or high winds), you need players who can create goals out of nothing and will one's team to victory.  Messi can do that, but Ronaldo is even better in this regard.  I like Messi better as a player and would reluctantly give Ronaldo the edge because his style is more adaptable.  He's won trophies at both the club and national team level, playing completely different styles of soccer.  Messi can't claim the same.

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