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Who was the better player overall in May and throughout the 2011-12 season in La Liga? Goal.com takes a look at their performances

ANALYSIS
Compiled by KS Leong

As part of our monthly series, Goal.com compiles the statistical data, expert analysis, and progressive season records in La Liga on two of the best players in the world, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.



LA LIGA: ROUND 36



vs
Malaga
MALAGA
May 2
Camp Nou

RESULT Barcelona 4-1 Malaga
INDIVIDUAL MATCH STATS
Minutes played 93
Goals 3
Assists 0
Shots
6
Shots on goal 3
Passes 54
Passes completed
44
 GOAL.COM PLAYER RATING

8.0
'Broke Gerd Muller's record of 67 goals in a single season with his eighth hat-trick of the season this evening. Two of the goals came from the penalty spot, while the third was a well-taken finish after being played in by Andres Iniesta. A clinical performance from the Argentine.'



vs
Athletic Bilbao
ATHLETIC BILBAO
May 3
San Mames


RESULT Athletic 0-3 Real Madrid
INDIVIDUAL MATCH STATS
Minutes played 93
Goals 1
Assists 1
Shots
10
Shots on goal 6
Passes 35
Passes completed
25
 GOAL.COM PLAYER RATING

7.5
'Tried to be far too deliberate with his early penalty that was saved by Iraizoz, but made up for it minutes later when he picked out Ozil with an incredible pass to the back post for the German's goal. Grabbed an early second half goal with a towering header which proved to be the killer blow for Athletic.'
TICS
LA LIGA: ROUND 37




vs
Espanyol
ESPANYOL
May 5
Camp Nou




RESULT Barcelona 4-0 Espanyol
INDIVIDUAL MATCH STATS
Minutes played 93
Goals 4
Assists 0
Shots
6
Shots on goal 4
Passes 59
Passes completed 46
 GOAL.COM PLAYER RATING

9.0
Top of the Match
'Settled the derby nerves at Camp Nou with a delightful free kick into the corner in the 12th minute. Lit up the match with a number of bursting runs and scored a second with a coolly taken penalty. Third goal was nothing short of genius as he showed a majestic first touch before leaving Sanchez for dead and then lashing home into the bottom corner. Sealed a fourth goal with another penalty.'


vs
Granada
GRANADA
May 5
Nuevo Los Carmenes


RESULT Granada 1-2 Real Madrid
INDIVIDUAL MATCH STATS
Minutes played 93
Goals 1
Assists 0
Shots
6
Shots on goal 2
Passes 36
Passes completed 25
 GOAL.COM PLAYER RATING

6.5
'Off target with a header early on and then blasted a free kick into the wall. Ran the ball out of play later, much to the amusement of the home fans. Wide with a header from close range in the second half before converting a penalty to level the scores late on.'

LA LIGA: ROUND 38




vs
Betis
REAL BETIS
May 12
Estadio Benito Vilamarin




RESULT Betis 2-2 Barcelona
INDIVIDUAL MATCH STATS
Minutes played 94
Goals 0
Assists 0
Shots
3
Shots on goal 0
Passes 14
Passes completed 14
 GOAL.COM PLAYER RATING

6.5
'A fairly quiet game by his exceptionally high standards. Set Afellay free with a delightful pass early on, but Casto was alert to sweep up the danger. Embarked on a driving run himself across the Betis penalty area in the 36th minute before having a left-footed shot blocked by the diving Paulao. Hit the post with a free kick in second half injury-time with Casto well-beaten.'





vs
Mallorca
MALLORCA
May 12
Santiago Bernabeu





RESULT Real Madrid 4-1 Mallorca
INDIVIDUAL MATCH STATS
Minutes played 94
Goals 1
Assists 0
Shots
9
Shots on goal 3
Passes 19
Passes completed 11
 GOAL.COM PLAYER RATING

7.0
'Looked up for it as the match got underway and gave Madrid the lead with a fine first-half header, becoming the first player to ever score against all 19 Liga sides in the same season. Played his part in the build-up to the second goal, but missed a one-on-one with Aouate in the second period. Produced a wonderful piece of skill to beat his marker in the area after that. Also appealed for a penalty in first period, but foul took place outside the box.'

MAY STATISTICS
         

280 MINUTES PLAYED
279
7 GOALS
3
4 PENALTIES
1
0 ASSISTS 1
15 / 7 (46.7%) TOTAL SHOTS / ON GOAL
25 / 11 (44%)
127 / 104 (81.9%) PASSES / COMPLETED 90 / 61 (67.8%)
7.8 GOAL.COM
AVERAGE RATING
7.0
46 2011-12 LA LIGA GOALS 50
72 (59) 2011-12 COMPETITIVE GOALS (APPEARANCES)
60 (55)
http://i1.goal.com/files/images/stats/goal/team-logos/1/451_48x48.jpg

2011-12 LA LIGA SEASON STATISTICS
         

3406 MINUTES PLAYED
3483
50 (37) GOALS (GAMES)
46 (38)
10 PENALTIES
12
15 ASSISTS 12
201 / 98 (48.7%) TOTAL SHOTS / ON GOAL
260 / 103 (39.6%)
2439 / 1995 (81.8%) PASSES / COMPLETED 1529 / 1175 (76.8%)
7.46 GOAL.COM
AVERAGE RATING
7.24
72 (59) 2011-12 COMPETITIVE GOALS (GAMES)
60 (55)
http://i1.goal.com/files/images/stats/goal/team-logos/1/451_48x48.jpg

WHO WAS BETTER IN 2011-12?

Martin del Palacio Langer (Goal.com Spain Chief Editor)

Winner: TIE

Even if I try my best it is just impossible. Messi and Ronaldo just cannot be separated this season. While it's true that the Argentine scored more goals, Ronaldo took his team to the title and scored an essential winning goal against Barca to effectively finish off the title race. A solomonic decision - may God forgive us all.

Ben Hayward (Goal.com International Spain Football Editor)

Winner: CRISTIANO RONALDO

Last season, Messi took the plaudits as Cristiano claimed the Pichichi. This season, however, the Portuguese was unable to win the goalscoring gong, but did earn the prize he really wanted - La Liga. Messi was simply sensational as he broke a string of goalscoring records, but Ronaldo was decisive as Real beat Barca at Camp Nou and then became the first player in the history of the competition to score against all 19 rival teams in one season. More importantly, he was the inspiration as Mourinho's men stormed to the title in a record-breaking season which saw them claim 100 points and 121 goals. And much of the merit for all of that goes to Ronaldo.

Paul Macdonald (Goal.com International Deputy Editor)

Winner: CRISTIANO RONALDO

It seems ludicrous that Messi, with 72 goals in all competitions and a season of smashed records, could have been upstaged by anyone, but Ronaldo's input at Madrid has been nothing short of heroic. Sixty goals, including 46 in La Liga, were essential in Mourinho's side maintaining their relentless run. The winning goal at Camp Nou in April provided the satisfaction of a Spanish title, and perhaps a pendulum swing from Catalunya to the capital.

KS Leong (Goal.com International Associate Editor)

Winner: LIONEL MESSI

It's almost impossible to choose between Messi and Ronaldo this season. Although the Portuguese played a vital role in securing Madrid the league title, the Barcelona ace did run away with the Pichichi with an astonishing 50 goals. He also provided a phenomenal number of assists, second only to Mesut Ozil in La Liga, but it's the staggering amount of records he broke this season that puts him ahead of Ronaldo. And as this is a personal duel between the pair, Messi takes it for me.

Martin Macdonald (Goal.com International Match Coverage Expert)

Winner: LIONEL MESSI

Ronaldo and Messi continue to create a legacy for themselves and have, once again, exceeded every expectation imaginable and broken all kinds of records. The Portuguese has fired Real to an astonishing 100-point tally and a La Liga title, but he continues to live in the shadow of the Argentine maestro. Despite a disappointing season for Barca as a team, Messi has notched up a mind-boggling 72 goals, a feat which further enhances his claim for being the best footballer in history.


Who was better in the 2011-12 Liga season? Who was more consistent? Who was more productive? Join the debate on goal_intl and leave your tweets with the hashtag #goalh2h. Goal.com will publish the best comments in our poll result article on Friday May 18, 2012.

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Who was the better performer in the 2011-12 season in La Liga?

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