Barcelona

In reality it is a very nice situation to be in. Both players are at the peak of their powers when aren’t they and they have gone down in the history as two of the greatest players to have played the game. They force each other to improve and improvise and raise the bar further higher with every single game, more than what we would have thought was possible.

As fans of the sport, many are beginning to take the opinion that we are simply lucky to be watching two such great talented players fight it out for the label of being the best in the world. The fact that they both play in La Liga and for two sides with such fierce rivalry, makes the battle between the two even more special.

Lionel Messi epitomizes Barcelona, while the Portugal international Cristiano Ronaldo has fit in well into the Real Madrid tradition over the years. Both the sides have won a lot of titles over the last decade or so, with their two superstars leading the way.

Further, on the international stage we can often get a measure of a true great. Pele and Diego Maradona were two legends for their country, enhancing the reputation of their nation every time they wore a Brazilian or Argentine shirt.

Messi and Ronaldo are yet to reach those heights, but if they can propel their nation to a World Cup success in 2018, then they may tip the balance in their favour when all is said and done.

However, when it comes down to who is the best, here are five reasons that Lionel Messi is surely a step ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo:

5. The Messi of 2012 will not be beaten:

Messi may be stealing the headlines as of now, but his current achievements are pale in comparison to 2012. In my opinion it will go down as THE greatest single season in history. The fact that it was done in La Liga, one of the strongest leagues in the world, It only shows how truly great it was.

In the domestic league, Messi has taken the word “unstoppable” to a newer high in recent times, as he managed to secure a tally of 50 goals in 37 appearances, breaking a barrier that not many had thought possible. In the Premier League, 30 goals a season would be the mark of a world class striker, if an attacker could keep doing that season after season.

His previous best came in 2010, when he scored a total of 34 goals in just 35 games, exceeding the ratio of “a goal a game”. It is proved to be a timely accomplishment as Ronaldo also managed it for the first time with Real Madrid in 2010, despite his tally of 46 goals in 38 games being some way off.

When comparing the two men in terms of their best season in order to separate the two players, who are so even in ability, Messi has scored 79 goals for Barca that season, with 12 goals for his country as well.

For those who haven’t grabbed their calculators yet that is 91 goals in one single season. These goals came in 69 appearances for both club and country, a record which might never be broken, in one of Europe’s best leagues and is compelling evidence that at his best Messi is far better than Ronaldo and anyone else for that matter.

MSN