It is certainly very difficult to separate the two giants. Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are in a league of their own. However, today I have identified several areas that I think the Portuguese have an edge over the Argentine. This should not be interpreted to mean Real Madrid star is better than the Barcelona forward. The naked truth is the following skills are brought out better by the former Manchester United winger.
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5. Defensive work
Lionel Messi is very good going forward especially when he has the ball. His acceleration and direct approach terrify defenders. On the other hand, when the team needs more bodies behind the ball the Argentine is not very useful. His height does not help the situation meaning that only pass interceptions remain at his disposal defensively.
Cristiano Ronaldo is not the kind of player who likes tracking back to do his defensive duties. However, when he does he has all the qualities to help clear the ball. He can stand on the wall when opponents are taking free-kicks or defend corners. Ronaldo can chase an opponent deep in his half to retrieve the ball. This gives him an edge over Lionel Messi.
4. Free-kicks conversion
Lionel Messi is without a doubt becoming better every day in dead ball situations. Now that Xavi left only Neymar can challenge him for free-kicks in the team. Cristiano Ronaldo, on the other hand, is a master when it comes to free-kicks. People say he wastes many chances, but they tend to forget that he has also scored many goals from free-kicks.
Since his Manchester United days, the Portuguese has perfected his art. He continues to get better as he approaches the end of his career. Former Arsenal keeper Manuel Almunia might be able to tell a different story. He conceded a crazy free-kick in Champions League semi-final in 2009. Ronaldo netted a 35-yard-free-kick and the whole World was in shock.
3. Aerial Threat
One of the most memorable goals Lionel Messi ever scored was in 2009 Champions League final. He out-jumped Rio Ferdinand to score Barcelona second goal. The strike made it difficult for Manchester United to come back in the game. He, however, has not scored many after that as compared to Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo. Messi is not as blessed physically which means that he rarely wins aerial battles. Ronaldo is one of the most dangerous headers of the ball in the World.