Why Cristiano Ronaldo has edged Messi this season.

Hey everyone. Firstly, I'm not a Real Madrid fan but I felt obliged to post my thoughts on a RM blog. The post is about who has had the better season: Messi or Ronaldo? I've noticed that because of Leo Messi's better statistics this season, the Messi fanatics are gaining leverage in the argument. Here are my two cents about it.

PS. As I don't follow your blog, I realize that some of these things might have already been discussed around here. Sorry, if I sound redundant.


Some of CR7's achievements this season are:

1) Highest number of away goals in La Liga with 23;
2) Tied the all-time club and league record for most penalties in a single season with 12;
3) First player in league history to score in 27 different matches;
4) Scored against all 19 opposition in La Liga.

These achievements have carried far more significance than what Leo Messi has achieved this season. I feel blessed whenever I watch Leo Messi, but as someone who has watched both Madrid and Barcelona this season, I feel that CR7 has slightly edged Messi. The radical Messi fans will talk about statistics till the cows come home, but most people only use statistics to justify their own fixed biases. Stats can be very deceptive because they make it seem that Messi has completely overshadowed CR7 this season. In my opinion, it has been the other way around. I'll explain why.

In fact 1, I mentioned is that Ronaldo has scored 23 away goals this season. How many has Messi scored away from home? 15. That is a 8 goal difference: twice the difference in the overall goal tally. Why is this so important? Because I think that Barcelona have lost La Liga away from home. Their home form (17-1-1) has been better than Madrid (16-2-1), but away from home Madrid has absolutely been the better team. Barcelona have drawn 6 and lost 2 away from home. 8 games that were the difference between them and Madrid. Do you know how many times in these 8 away games Messi has scored? Only once. Messi and Barcelona have been both been frustrated away from home and have found it difficult to break down teams. For Ronaldo, this hasn't been a problem because he is a more complete player than Messi. He can shoot from distance, score with headers and power through defenses. If only football fans (neutrals in particular), gave CR7 credit for it.

The second point is that in the race for the Pichichi, Ronaldo led Messi for a greater period of the season. Messi stepped on the gas near the end and overtook Ronaldo. At this point in my opinion the La Liga was already decided. It's like this, whether Messi scores four in one match or Barcelona score 6, it's still only 3 points in its real importance. So in terms of important things (points), Ronaldo has been better because he has scored against all 19 teams in La Liga (record for Ronaldo) which I mentioned in fact 4.

Talking about important games, Ronaldo has been vital for Real Madrid when it has mattered. In their game against Atletico Madrid (RM fans might agree with me), had they drawn it Barcelona would have been only one point behind Real Madrid. It was a high-pressure match because they had just slipped up in a goalless draw against Valencia at the Bernabeu . Atletico Madrid, after that Falcao goal, looked in the mood to cause an upset and most of the Real Madrid team was playing poorly. Who single-handedly won them the match, and in the bigger picture the La Liga? CR7 as he scored a hat-trick and produced two stunners from nothing. For evidence see: Then against Barcelona, he put Barcelona's season to rest with his goal while Messi remained largely anonymous in the season's most important game. In the UCL semi's, both Messi and CR7 came up short. Barcelona fans will tell you all about their misses. And I agree, they missed some sitters against Chelsea. But who missed the most chances? In my opinion, Leo Messi for his lofty standards, could have scored 3 goals at least over the two legs (penalty miss included). Ronaldo missed for Real Madrid too (who can forget the penalty shootout?), but he also scored two and brought Real Madrid within touching distance.

Fact 2 talks about Ronaldo's penalties. It is a fact that CR7 has one of the highest penalty conversion rates in the game. On the other hand, Leo Messi only takes penalties because he is Barcelona's best player. Ronaldo has only missed one penalty in La Liga, while I've seen Messi miss on quite a few occasions (I'm not counting) and has let Barcelona down. This aspect of the game is very underrated. A penalty miss can change the complexion of a match. A successful penalty can put a match to bed.

Right now, the popular opinion is largely in favor of Messi and therefore most football fans are discrediting Ronaldo's La Liga trophy because of Messi's better statistics. It pains me because the difference between them is very very minimal and each has a case for the being the best. Cheers. I'll appreciate feedback. :)

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