Certain topics will most likely be eternally debatable. Even though, in most such cases, there will never be a definitive right or wrong answer. Reason being that much of what being a sports fan – or somebody who makes their living commenting thereon for that matter – is about revolves around differing opinions. Please click the link above for the full Article.
Every generation has these comparative discussions. Perhaps, however, in more recent times there have been more than ever. Sometimes, though, there’s a sense that sporting class is often devalued by obsessive analysis. Maybe it would be better – and indeed more enjoyable – to appreciate genuine greatness for what it is.
Henry Shefflin or DJ Carey? Novak Djokovic or Rafa Nadal? Is there are certain answer, or, for all that, does it really matter? Undoubtedly, the greatest such divisive subject attracting attention and garnering column inches and airtime is the seemingly unending inquisition into the respective rankings of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Both seem to relentlessly dominate any fixture in which they are involved. Either by actual deeds or, more simply, the amount of attention focussed upon them. Thus, there’s an angle of logic that would reason the only conclusive way to arrive at a determination would be to reserve judgement until the two clash directly.
If that’s the case, their most recent collision in an El Classico that more than lives up to its billing, in many ways left onlookers none the wiser. Each have mitigating factors to their benefit. Messi, for the majority of his career, has had the better supporting in the orchestra. Yet, perhaps it’s those very shortfalls – not that they’re drastic – that exhibit Ronaldo as not only the conductor of the Real Madrid orchestra but the lead performer therein as well.
You might think both of the aforementioned roles are the same. Not quite. Whereas at Manchester City, the creative genius of players like David Silva and Yaya Toure is usually aided and abetted by the offerings from Sergio Aguero or Edin Dzeko, with Madrid, literally everything seems to revolve around the Portuguese.
Looking at other teams, few are so seemingly dependent on one man, Obviously, that’s not exactly accurate, as Karim Benzema remains one of the best finishers about and the infusion of Gareth Bale added more zest. Still, there’s a sense that their net value would decrease significantly minus their prized asset.
Few other teams rely so heavily on one. Right, so shorn of Luis Suarez Liverpool’s effectiveness would diminish considerably. However, for all the undoubted excellence of the feisty Uruguayan, his mesmeric manufacturing of brilliance is unquestionably enhanced thanks to a buzzing production line compromising his strike partner Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling and Jordan Henderson and Philippe Coutinho and Steven Gerard. Albeit, the latter in a redefined role.
At Chelsea, it has been noticeable that they are perhaps missing a flagship front man which Didier Drogba was for them for so long. Clear, also, that the cumulative productivity of several bastions of the last Mourinho era has depreciated appreciably. And still, the exhilarating brilliance of Edin Hazard, combined with the knowhow of Samuel Eto’o has them on the cusp of another title.
You’ll note that the vast majority of those highlighted in this piece are midfielders. It’s telling, even more so when put in the context that a stark dearth of quality in that sector has been a mainstay of Manchester United’s misfiring this season. Doesn’t the fact that 40-year-old Ryan Giggs gives a zip to happenings in that area otherwise sadly lacking say enough?
Now, it’s highly likely that Messi and Ronaldo would’ve excelled no matter what position they occupied. The significance of them plying their trade in the engine room cannot be understated, though. Indeed, maybe the best illustration of individual brilliance is how both have enabled their respective employers prosper despite varying degrees of adversity.
The toxic atmosphere and inward rancour that prevailed during at least the closing spell of Mourinho’s tenure in Spain is well known. Ronaldo, however, was the main reason they somehow managed to circumvent it all and claim La Liga. It did, admittedly, add further volume to the coach’s worth. Largely one man was the reason it happened.
Messi – to a distant observer at least – has had more injury trouble this term than at any point of his career to date. And still, in spite of the limitations within the Barcelona side, they continue to hurtle themselves back onto the coattails of the two Madrid clubs in the chase for domestic honours.
In terms of who is actually the better player, there probably never will be a clear-cut outcome. Madrid’s man was recently – belatedly some would no doubt attest – recognised as the world’s greatest. Gut feeling says every time you’d take a straight vote between Messi and Ronaldo you’d get a different outcome.
Maybe the lesson is that we should just be thankful to have these two sporting greats on the go during our lifetime and enjoy them demonstrating their genius rather than constantly comparing one with the other.