Robbie Savage: Cristiano Ronaldo’s hat-trick for Real Madrid settles the argument

Robbie Savage: Cristiano Ronaldo’s hat-trick for Real Madrid settles the argument

Cristiano Ronaldo’s hat-trick in the Champions League semi-final settles the argument for me.

In the big debate over who’s the greatest – Ronaldo or Lionel Messi – the stats are mind-blowing and we should enjoy two players from a different planet while we can.

But much as I love watching Messi, I have now come round to the opinion that Ronaldo carries the day.

If Real Madrid win back-to-back Champions League titles in Cardiff later this month, it would mean that in a 12-month period Ronaldo would have won the European Cup twice, the European Championship with Portugal and, as seems likely, La Liga in Spain.

Ronaldo has also performed in more than one top league in Europe – he turned into a superstar in the Premier League with Manchester United.

And he played a lot of games for United on the right wing in a 4-4-2 system, so that would explain his slightly lower strike rate in club football compared with Messi’s remarkable record.

I also happen to believe Ronaldo is a greater influence on Portugal’s fortunes than Messi’s influence on Argentina at international level.

Messi has never played in the Premier League, so we’ll never know if he would have scored more goals than Ronaldo in English football.

He has a better goals-per-game ratio, but I just think Ronaldo – with his physique and aerial threat – could play anywhere across the front line.

Do you agree? Have a look at the stats below and judge for yourselves…

RONALDO

Club: 712 appearances, 522 goals, 172 assists

International: 138 caps, 71 goals, 23 assists

MESSI

Club: 579 appearances, 502 goals, 193 assists

International: 117 caps, 58 goals, 38 assists

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