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Has Ronaldo finally passed Messi?



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RYAN BAILEY: Welcome to FC Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have dominated the beautiful game for a decade.

And they'll undoubtedly both go down as two of the greatest players of all time.

As you're surely aware, it's very tricky to declare which player is best.

But this most recent round of Champions League games might have given us an insight into which player has the edge in recent times and which will be remembered more fondly.

In these quarterfinals, Ronaldo has scored five goals against Bayern Munich, up to three of which were onside, but all of which truly mattered when his team needed him.

In the process, the reigning Ballon d'Or bagged his 100 Champions League goal and put his team onto a path for their third Champions League title in four years.

Now, consider Lionel Messi, who had seven shots during the goal, his second leg draw with Juventus, only one of which was on target.

It was his least accurate Champions League game since 2011.

But the real damning stats are the amount of goals he scored in the latter stages of the competition.


He scored half as many quarterfinal goals as Ronaldo, and less than half as many at the semifinal stage.

This feeds into the idea that Ronaldo is a better big game player, who can step up when silverware is truly on the line.

Now, let's not be dismissive about Messi here.

He's had some great moments in big games, of course, like the 2011 Champions League final.

But in the past three summers, he's choked in three consecutive finals with Argentina, and he's gone quiet in the latter stages of the Champions League once again.

Ronaldo, in that time, has won a Champions League.

He dragged Portugal to a highly unlikely Euro 2016 win.

And he's being recognized as the reigning Ballon d'Or, of course.

Speaking on Sky Sports this week, Gary Neville said, "I wonder if Ronaldo is building up for a long career as a center forward, where his running doesn't have to be 11 kilometers, 12 per match.

It can be 7, 8, 9, where he can still score his two goals and live off moments.

" This is a crucial point.

Ronaldo's transition into a center forward means he might have more career longevity.

And he's playing a more direct role in getting those wins.

Messi might be a better all-round player.

But Ronaldo is a cold-blooded finisher, who more often than not gets results.

Even if you think Messi is a better soccer player, Ronaldo is better at winning big games.

And that is ultimately what the history books are going to remember.

So I feel that Ronaldo has greater resolve in big moments.

And in decades to come, he'll be remembered as the better player.

But what do you think?

Let us know at FC Yahoo on Twitter.

I've been Ryan Bailey.

Thanks so much for watching.

Love to your mothers.

See you next time.