Photo courtesy of UEFA

Messi vs Ronaldo? To me, the answer is simple and does not warrant debating. Lionel Messi, the FC Barcelona superstar, is by far the superior player, not just currently, but all-time too . I polled 21 people to see their responses and was not at all surprised with the results. 20 of the 21 respondents said Messi was the better all-time player. Additionally, 18 of the 21 said Messi is better right now.

The one person who answered Cristiano Ronaldo was using goals scored as his primary criteria to determine who is better. He also claimed to be an avid soccer fan. However, after making many incorrect statements such as Ronaldo having “way more goals” than Messi since his arrival to Madrid, I realized that this person was totally clueless.

The facts are that since Ronaldo arrived at Real Madrid, Messi has scored 311 goals to Ronaldo’s 288 in all club competitions. Messi has also tallied 111 assists to Ronaldo’s 76. Thus, since the move, Messi has been the more dynamic scorer and distributor.

Even at younger ages, Messi was miles ahead of Ronaldo.  In the 2008-09 season, at the age of 21, Messi scored 38 goals in 51 total appearances. Ronaldo was 24 years old at that time and scored 26 goals in 53 appearances.

As such, using goals scored as a justification for Ronaldo being the superior player is only going to get you laughed at. Messi scored a world record 91 goals in only 69 total appearances for club and country in the 2012 calendar year. Ronaldo never has, and never will, come anywhere close.

Not only is Messi the more valuable scorer, but he is the better shooter inside as well as outside the box. Messi is also far better at dribbling, taking on defenders, and creating scoring chances for himself and his teammates. Those are not opinions, but facts.

Fivethirtyeight.com published a report stating that “Lionel Messi is impossible,” and after reading the report, I agree. In their data compiled from 2010–2014, Messi blew every other player away in their calculations, including Ronaldo. Messi’s goal percentage outside the box was 12.1 percent compared to an overall average of 3.1 percent. Ronaldo’s was a mere 4.1 percent, by comparison. Over that time span, Ronaldo shot 292 more times than Messi and still had less goals scored. Messi’s goals above average was nearly three times higher than Ronaldo. Ronaldo, even put in the same class as Messi is a mockery to him and the game.

Messi, at only 27, has many more years left to play. He is already one of the most accomplished players of all time, winning the Ballon d’Or four consecutive times, in addition to three UEFA Champions League titles. He was the dominant force on FC Barcelona’s 2010-11 team that is considered to be the greatest soccer team of all time.

Messi’s impact on his team is unparalleled. He’s the most valuable player in the world and is the reason Barcelona has been on a goal scoring tear as of late. In 33 appearances he has 37 goals and 18 assists, and is the focal point of the offense. Leading the world in goals scored and assists is absolutely insane. It’s ridiculous. No one should be that good. If you’re thinking of a player in another sport, there is not one out there that is the caliber of Messi or as far ahead of his peers as he is. The only player who may have been more dominant than Messi in his respective sport is possibly Wayne Gretzky, but even that is a stretch.

Messi is in the elite class of all-time athletes with Usain Bolt, Michael Jordan, Gretzky and Babe Ruth. In my 21 years of living, I’ve watched alot of sports and the only players to ever wow me like Messi have been LeBron James and Peyton Manning.

The term “Messi magic” is a popular phrase to Barcelona and all other soccer followers. Lately, he’s received more acclaim from his passing than the goals he’s scored. No one in the world can do what Messi does with the ball. Some fans of FC Barcelona have began to say that he is even a better passer than the great Xavi. Which is phenomenal for a forward to even be compared to a passer and playmaker of that magnitude. Messi is involved in almost every goal Barcelona scores. You are almost guaranteed at least one “wow” moment each game and personally, I think we are lucky to live in the Messi generation.

After reading this story and seeing all of these facts and statistics, if you still think Ronaldo is better, you are wrong. Messi being better than Ronaldo isn’t an opinion, but a fact and it should be written in stone.