A recent study has claimed that Lionel Messi is two times better than his longtime rival, Cristiano Ronaldo.
Over the past 15 years, Messi and Ronaldo have been battling for supremacy. Though many agree that the pair will go down in history of soccer as two of the greatest players to ever grace the pitch, nobody has ended the debate as to who is the better player between the two.
With a combined 11 Ballon d’Ors and with their consistent display of dominance, it’s really hard to figure out whether it is Messi or Ronaldo who comes out on top. However, a statistical study conducted by SciSports (via Soccer Laduma), in partnership with Universidad Catolica in Belgium, may help fans and pundits decide.
Shockingly, the study revealed that the Argentine icon is double the player the Portuguese is — at least between 2013 and 2018. The rare study was reportedly based on those five years, which were undeniably Ronaldo’s most successful years as a professional athlete both in terms of trophies won and goals scored. Messi, on the other hand, surged to superstardom just a year before that. It was in 2012 when the Barcelona superstar set incredible goal scoring records which still stand even to this day.
But despite the seemingly slight advantage for Ronaldo, the publication revealed that Messi scored 1.21 on the test, while his counterpart came two times behind with a 0.61. The study concluded that “Leo” got on the ball more, and therefore, created more chances and decided the outcomes of games more often than “CR7.”
To back the results of the study, Professor Jesse Davis further explained that Messi and Ronaldo’s every action during a game were the main basis. “A goal is a rare event, however, because an average of 1,600 actions are estimated to occur in a match. Our model looks at each action – shots, passes, dribbles, tackles – and calculates its value,” he said.
From there, the researchers value the pair based on goals and assists and came up with the said results.
Prior to this, another statistical analysis showed that Messi dominated Ronaldo during all their matches against each other.
Based on the compilation, the six-time Ballon d’Or winner is slightly ahead of Ronaldo in terms of efficiency, scoring a goal every 138 minutes and 41 seconds. Ronaldo, on the other hand, is still considered a productive goal scorer with 153 minutes and 19 seconds in between goals.
It also shows that Messi contributed an assist every 254 minutes and 15 seconds, while Ronaldo trails way behind with just one assist every 2,913 minutes or the equivalent of two days.