Messi vs. Ronaldo: Who is Better? A Scientific Perspective

Mumbai might get heavy snow, Russians could stop drinking vodka, Americans may stop funding its military and Volkswagen might even go bankrupt. Everything mentioned above is possible, but one thing in this world is never possible. Fans will never stop comparing Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Perhaps this is because the current generation of football fans are experiencing perhaps two of the greatest gifts ever given to “the beautiful game”.

So who’s better? Is it Messi? Or Ronaldo? Or are they both equally good?

We can find our answer to this age-old question by looking at it from a scientific perspective. With science, everything can be quantified (measured), so perhaps this will give us some clarity – finally! Researchers from the universities of Oxford, St Andrews and Bristol got together to work on this task and came up with a fair conclusion.

Take a seat Ronaldo fans, because you’re in for a heartbreak!!

Their research showed that left-footed players have more natural talent than those that are right-footed. Messi possesses something that Ronaldo doesn’t – a gene that makes him more creative and sure-footed on the pitch. The players who favor their left foot have certain functions of their cerebral hemispheres reversed, and therefore have an extra dose of unpredictability and creativity. This unique ability allows left-handed players to have more spontaneous ideas and solutions in games, inventing new moves and exploiting their talent to score goals or make plays faster. The research also compared some of the finest left-footed players like Diego Maradona, Ryan Giggs and Gareth Bale.

Football - FC Barcelona v Bayern Munich - UEFA Champions League Semi Final First Leg - The Nou Camp, Barcelona, Spain - 6/5/15 Barcelona's Lionel Messi scores their second goal Reuters / Gustau Nacarino

Messi’s epic chipped goal against Manuel Neuer

The Brazilian legend, Pele, has also stated that Lionel Messi is the “best in the world” over the past decade, which has encouraged further debate among fans.

In my opinion, Lionel Messi’s game shows precisely how much talent he has. It’s pure, perfect football. Ronaldo, on the other hand, is a fine example of how hard work can work wonders. He is perhaps one of the most hardworking players to ever grace the game.

However, science has spoken, and Lionel Messi it is! A fifth Balon d’Or is undoubtedly around the corner for him in the coming years.

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Ishan is a Mechanical Engineer from Mumbai University, India and is obsessed with science, food and all things football. He is a self proclaimed cyclist, runner and a professional procrastinator.

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