March 21, 2018

Ronaldo v Messi: Who will decide El Clasico?

El Clásico

Takes a look at the key stats in modern football’s greatest rivalry – Cristiano Ronaldo versus Lionel Messi

Saturday could see the resumption of the greatest one-on-one rivalry modern football has seen with Cristiano Ronaldo set to line up against Lionel Messi in El Clasico, reports

Once again, Real Madrid versus Barcelona looks set to play a key role in deciding the La Liga title but for many fans – particularly the neutrals – the match is more about who is the best player in the world: Ronaldo or Messi?

Barcelona hope Messi, who has not played since September due to a knee injury, will return for the trip to the Santiago Bernabeu.

Ronaldo has had his own issues this season – the Portuguese striker is rumoured to be on his way out at Madrid, although a big performance against archrivals Barca would no doubt dampen that speculation.

Who can be the match-winner on Saturday?

Looking at Opta’s stats on the duo’s performances in La Liga since Ronaldo arrived in the 2009-10 season underlines why the argument continues over who is better of the dynamic pair.

Messi has scored two more goals than Ronaldo but has played one more game.

The Portuguese (90.38%) is a more successful penalty-taker than Messi (86.11%) but Barca’s Argentine phenomenon is more accurate from direct free-kicks (7.19%) than Ronaldo (6.74%).

Messi completes more dribbles per game (4.65 compared to 2.04) but Ronaldo takes more shots (7.00 to 4.99).

Since Ronaldo arrived in Spain from Manchester United, Barcelona have won 12 El Clasicos, Madrid have won seven and five have been drawn.

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