The two Manchester City stars, Ronaldo vs Messi 2019-20, are set to face off in one of the most anticipated games in the entire competition when the two face off in Leveras against Benfica. The rivalry between the duo is like no other as they represent two of the most popular clubs in the country. Both have been here for different amounts of time, with Ronaldo coming firstly from Portugal aged 16 years and eight months while Messi was firstly a Barcelona youth player before moving on to Villas Boas in Brazil. Ronaldo plays left forward and has scored over 100 goals in just his last two seasons, whilst Messi has scored some key goals in the past as well as now playing in central defense for Argentina. Both players have also been nominated for the LMA (Ligue Association) Best Player or Assistants during their time at the club. So, what does this game mean for the title race?
Well, based on the type of season that we have had so far, there is no clear favourite for the award. Ronaldo and Messi are both deserving to be in the Best XI given the fact that they have both scored more goals than their team mates, although nobody can actually push them ahead of Hazard and Chelsea’s Eden Hazard who are joint third in the rankings having scored 101 goals between them. One thing that we cannot ignore is the form of the two players. Messi was recently voted the best player in the world for the second year in a row, therefore convincing his team mates that he is the player who deserves the award.
On the other hand, Ronaldo was voted the second best player in the league behind only Pep Guardiola, his former Barcelona teammate. This is slightly surprising as Madrid fans have always believed that Ronaldo would win the election given how long his partnership with Angel Di Maria has been working wonders for Los Blancos. Also, given the dominance of Chelsea at the top of the league, perhaps Barca need to reconsider whether or not they should opt for a different attacking trio next season. The decision to keep Angel Di Maria in their team despite the obvious lack of goals made by him might backfire given how well Ronaldo and Messi are performing this season. The Argentine playmaker has been primarily responsible for helping Madrid to bag much of their success this season, which makes him the most important player in any side.
Based purely on form however, there is no contest between Ronaldo and Messi. The pair have been scoring every week, with Ronaldo often leading the line when it comes to chances created and assists. Despite not scoring too many goals, Messi has been registering assists very well, helping his side to take control of games and create plenty of chances for his teammates. In fact, the striker has been a big difference since leaving AC Milan, notching 20 goals in all competitions, including the Champions League title. This has helped them to retain their crown, but is it enough?
This season has seen the introduction of a new era for the club, with the arrival of Zinedine Benzema as the club’s new forward. Previously a right wing player, the France international has actually made his debut as a centre forward, which has brought him some great success this season. Ronaldo has played only at right wing, but even if he was not chosen as a centre forward, he has performed well, scoring four goals and providing two assists so far. On the other flank, none other than Cristiano Ronaldo will have experienced a better season than Messi, who has also had an excellent season, providing the Catalans with arguably their most potent attack in the league. The three players have also formed a great partnership, creating plenty of chances for the forwards and allowing them plenty of space to operate. In terms of individual quality though, it cannot be argued that neither Ronaldo nor Messi will be able to match the best of the best this season.
However, if the season has taught us anything, it is that Barcelona are not about to lose ground to their rivals. With the likes of PSG and Manchester United passing them by, they will continue to build on their attacking prowess and push their opponents further away in search of a treble. With both teams providing attacking football, it comes as little surprise that Barca have looked unbeatable this season. With a season full of surprises and goalscoring brilliance, expect another crack at the treble in the coming months.