But will this be the focal point of the match or is it about two players who are or what we consider at the summit of their powers?
Cristiano Ronaldo has downplayed the importance of his duel with Lionel Messi but this would add even further fuel to the fire as the internet forums all across the globe are talking of the same.
As part of our build-up to the most anticipated clash of the season, Goal.com lists down five possible reasons brought forth by the fans of the Portuguese skipper on how he exceeds in greatness to a certain Argentine.
For the fans of La Pulga, here’s an advice coming straight from Aristotle!
“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”
Herein are the reasons which are stated in no particular order of ascending or descending importance:
I Am Above Everyone!
a) Heading: This remains one of the basic techniques in football and Cristiano Ronaldo has mastered it given the number of goals he has scored putting his head to good use. At 169 cm, Lionel Messi isn’t one of the tallest players around and his heading ability isn’t even close to CR7’s though he did manage to score one in the Champions League final against Manchester United which was more of an exception to the rule.
The Dead Ball Specialist!
b) Free-Kicks: Who can forget the brilliance of the 40 yard stunner against Porto or the goal which literally tore apart the heart of every Arsenal fan in the Champions League semi-final?! CR7 uses the top of his toe and hits through the line instead of around it however, he also has the curling free-kick up his sleeve. On the other hand, Messi’s style is more about finesse but lacks the variations brought to the table by CR7.
You Can't Stop Me!
c) Physical Aptitude: The Premier League is one of the most physical leagues in the world, which is now an accepted fact given that we have heard testimonies from several players about it and for Bert Van Marwijk, the presence of Nigel De Jong is enough to believe so. CR7 excelled in the Premier League and doesn’t get bothered when defenders use their body against him as he himself is a physically imposing player. And for your information, CR7 reportedly does 3000 sit-ups daily to maintain his Hulk-like physique. Lionel Messi has struggled against teams when they use the ‘body’ tactics as was seen last year against Inter, previously against Chelsea and Manchester United in the semis of the Champions League.
My Left Is As Lethal As The Right!
d) Better Wrong Foot: Compare CR7’s left foot to Messi’s right and it’s the former which gets all the thumbs up. Being two footed is added advantage for CR7 given that he can rely on his wrong foot to shoot or pass instead of having to cut or drag back like Messi does. Didn’t you see the goal scored by the former Manchester United star in the midweek against Ajax?
I Don't Need A Xavi To Score My Goals!
e) Malleable: The transition from the Premier League into La Liga didn’t change much for CR7 as he continued to score at free will and maintained his high standards with an astounding 33 goals in 35 games in all competitions at a time when his team-mates weren’t in the best of form. Messi has always had the luxury of a better support system with players like Xavi, Iniesta, Deco or a Ronaldinho around in his side in their prime and played in a team which suits his style of play.
What Do YOU Think? Is CR7 Better Than Lionel Messi?