The rivalry between Barcelona and Real Madrid is probably the most intense and explosive rivalry in world football. It also finds manifestation in the duel of the sides’ talented strikers, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
The two best players in world have a completely different playing style – the Argentine has more dribbling skills and the Portuguese is known for his free kicks.
Messi and Ronaldo are both in the running for the FIFA Ballon d’Or and though the award will probably go to Messi, it has been a good year for both footballers. Cristiano scored an amazing 60 goals in 60 games, and though it’s more than Messi netted, the Brazilian won four more trophies than the Portuguese – the Spanish Supercopa, Club World Cup, UEFA Super Cup, the Champions League and La Liga.
Ronaldo recently set a new record by scoring the most number of goals in a year. One of the highest-paid football players in the world scored 43 goals in just 34 La Liga matches in 2011, besting Messi’s record of 42 goals in 2010.
However, Ronaldo’s game didn’t come against big sides very often, including the recent 3-1 loss to Barcelona. He was more successful with Barcelona as he managed to net the winner in a 2-1 win over Argentina with Messi on the team.
Messi proved to be more generous than Ronaldo – he provided 28 assists, while Ronaldo gave just 17.
Though Real Madrid have had a hard time winning games against Barcelona, they are getting closer to Barcelona, thanks largely to Ronaldo.