Category Archives: La Liga BBVA

Messi vs. Ronaldo (Golden Ball/Ballon d’Or) – Week 48

El Clásico is behind us and both teams could not come up as victorious.

Luis Suarez opened the scoring for FC Barcelona while Sergio Ramos, the Real Madrid CF captain, scored at the end of the match. Final result: 1-1.

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo were kept off the scoresheet. While the voting for the next France Football Ballon d’Or/Golden Ball winner has ended officially on November 27th, 2016, we will still keep the calendar year statistics going until the end.

Both superstars’ statistics until today are the following for 2016:

L. Messi 59 games 55 goals 32 assists 3 trophies won
– La Liga BBVA
– La Copa del Rey
– Spanish Supercup
C. Ronaldo 54 games 51 goals 17 assists 3 trophies won
– UEFA Champions League
– UEFA European Championship
– UEFA SuperCup
Total Messi 5 games Messi 4 goals Messi 15 assists Tie

 

El Clásico – FC Barcelona vs. Real Madrid CF

Here we go again.

Another El Clásico. Another battle between the two giants of Spanish football. The winners of the last three Champions League will square off for the first time this season with Los Blancos currently holding a six-point lead at the top of la Liga Santander vs. their Catalan arch-rivals. Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are available for the match, it does not get any better than this.

While Real Madrid CF and FC Barcelona are currently first and second of the Spanish league, it is difficult to say that they have really dominated, this season. We have seen both teams struggle against several opponents and drop some points, especially Los Blaugranas who can not let Zinedine Zidane‘s team get away with the three points today.

Last year, FC Barcelona won at the Santiago Bernabeu, in Madrid, 4-0 in a complete demolition. At the Camp Nou in Barcelona, it was Real Madrid CF who obtained the last word by winning 2-1. At the end, FC Barcelona went on to win the Spanish league and the Spanish Cup while Real Madrid CF lifted the Champions League trophy for the 11th time in their history.

Andrés Iniesta, for the Catalans, will be back in action for this match while the Welsh international, Gareth Bale, is sidelined with an injury for Madrid.

My prediction: FC Barcelona takes it 2-1 and gets closer to their rivals at the top of the table.

Messi vs. Ronaldo (Golden Ball/Ballon d’Or) – Week 47

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are still battling (along with French international, Antoine Griezmann and Uruguyan striker, Luis Suarez) for the next Ballon d’Or, while CR7 seems to be the favourite, let’s take a look at the statistics and the trophies won for the calendar year 2016 (Messi still has to play a game today at Real Sociedad):

L. Messi 57 games 54 goals 32 assists 3 trophies won
– La Liga BBVA
– La Copa del Rey
– Spanish Supercup
C. Ronaldo 53 games 51 goals 17 assists 3 trophies won
– UEFA Champions League
– UEFA European Championship
– UEFA SuperCup
Total Messi 4 games Messi 3 goals Messi 15 assists Tie

Lionel Messi – Ballon d’Or 2016 (Golden Ball 2016)

We are as few weeks away before the voting ends and there should be no doubt that Lionel Andres Messi from FC Barcelona should be the clear favourite to win the Ballon d’Or this year. Here are the numbers (remember that the trophy is judged based on a calendar year, from January 1st to the last day of voting):

Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona, Argentina)
Games – 51
Goals – 49
Assists – 29
Trophies – 3 (La Liga, Copa del Rey, Spanish SuperCup; 1 final – Copa America Centenario)

Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid CF, Portugal)
Games – 45
Goals – 41
Assists – 15
Trophies – 3 (UEFA Champions League, UEFA European Championship, UEFA SuperCup).

The difference is simply staggering. Ronaldo may have won the most prestigious trophies this year, but his performances have not been so great. He did not even feature more than 8 minutes in the final against France before being substituted in the 26th minute. His display vs. Atlético de Madrid in the Champions League final was almost invisible despite dispatching of the winning spot kick in the penalty shootout that occurred and he did not even feature in the UEFA SuperCup final won in the last minutes of the game vs. Sevilla FC.

Lionel Messi won the domestic double with his club, was clutch when the moment was needed. Elevated his game in La Copa America Centenario lost on penalties vs. Chili for the second year in a row (and we see currently see the difference when La Pulga plays for La Albiceleste and when he does not). Since the season has begun, despite missing a few games via injuries, he is simply untouchable with goals and assists in plenty. Messi is probably having his best beginning of a season ever.

France Football and FIFA have disassociated themselves, a few weeks ago, from the Ballon d’Or meaning that the French newspaper will dictate its previous formula once again. Will it be enough to see the Messi vs. Ronaldo saga end and another winner coming forward? We shall see. This year, Messi has been the best so far and deserves his sixth Golden Ball/Ballon d’Or.

Why Lionel Messi is better than Cristiano Ronaldo (and will always be)

After the aftermath the UEFA European Championship in which Portugal, an unlikely winner, clinched its first international professional trophy, there were several praises for Cristiano Ronaldo, the captain of the national squad. Some deserved, some not. At the end of the day, despite the win, football fans should not forget that Lionel Messi was involved in another continental competition, la Copa America Centenario, a little earlier this summer and led his country to the final against the defending champion and, despite started the competition and on the bench injured, managed to tear the competition apart (5 goals, 4 assists in 5 games, 3 games started). Argentina ultimately lost on penalty kicks against Chile, for the second year in a row.

If Gonzalo Higuain would have been able to do to Chile and Claudio Bravo what Eder has done to France and Hugo Lloris in the final, Argentina may have won its first senior trophy since 1993, Lionel Messi would finally win a professional trophy with La Albiceleste, and critics would not have been so harsh and cruel versus the Argentine superstar, five-time Ballon d’Or winner and on the receiving end of countless individual and collective honours during his career, which started officially in 2004.

While CR7 is older and started his career a few seasons before Leo Messi, there is no doubt in my mind that La Pulga is the better player. While the former is physical phenomenon, a great header of the ball, and goal-scoring machine (especially since joining La Liga Santander) and without a doubt one of the best player of the last 20 years, Messi can do pretty everything on a football pitch. The little man can score, assist, pass the ball, direct the play and play in numerous positions with efficiency. We have seen Messi play as a number 10, 9, 9 and a half, as a winger and even as a number six (versus Germany in 2010 was shocking to see). He is up there with the likes of Pelé, Diego Armando Maradona, Garrincha, Franz Beckenbauer and Johan Cruyff. His simplification of the game and the fear that he strikes towards his opponents are simply baffling, while Ronaldo has often been absent during big games and Portugal’s victory in the final without their captain plus Real Madrid CF’s penalty kicks win against their local rivals, Atlético de Madrid, in the Champions League final with an absent and inefficient number 7 can testify furthermore of this fact.

The statistics, the silverware won and the impact on the pitch do not lie. Lionel Andres Messi is currently the best footballer on the planet and the question should be: where will he rank in the history of the game when his career will end.

And he should be the current favourite for the Golden Ball/Ballon d’Or 2016 if you look at statistics and honours won so far for the calendar year.

Messi vs. Ronaldo (FIFA Golden Ball/Ballon d’Or) – Week 24-26

Lionel Messi and Argentina reached the final of La Copa America Centenario versus Chile last Sunday and once again, lost on penalties. Which means that La Pulga is still in search of his first senior’s title with La Albiceleste. Messi compiled an impressive 5 goals and 4 assists in five games during the tournament (he was a substitute against Panama and Bolivia in the group stage).

Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal have reached the Quarterfinals of the Euro 2016 in their Round of 16 match against Croatia thanks to a late goal, in extra-time, by Ricardo Quaresma. CR7, so far, has had two goals in four games in the competition.

Here are the stats from January 01st to June 28th, 2016 between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo (including all competitions from club to country):

L. Messi 39 games 34 goals 23 assists 2 trophies won
C. Ronaldo 32 games 31 goals 10 assists 1 trophy won
Total Messi 7 games Messi 3 goals Messi 13 assists Messi 1 trophy

Stay tuned….

Messi vs. Ronaldo (Golden Ball/Ballon d’Or) – Week 22

This is it. The end of the season has arrived with the Champions League final at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza behind us. Real Madrid CF won their record 11th European Cup title thanks to a penalty shootout versus local and arch-rivals, Club Atlético de Madrid (1-1. 5-3 after extra time). Cristiano Ronaldo scored the winning penalty kick, but was invisible for most of the game and was kept off the scoresheet on that one. He adds another Champions League winning medal, his third (one with Manchester United FC and two with Real Madrid CF).

As for Lionel Messi, the Argentine captain and his teammates prepare themselves for la Copa America Centenario due to begin one June 03rd. La Albiceleste played and won a friendly match against Honduras, 1-0, with a superb goal from SSC Napoli striker Gonzalo Higuain. Messi was kept off the scoresheet and left the game with what appeared to be a lower-back injury.

Here are the stats from January 01st to May 30th, 2016 between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

L. Messi 34 games 29 goals 18 assists 2 trophies won
C. Ronaldo 27 games 27 goals 8 assists 1 trophy won
Total Messi 7 games Messi 2 goals Messi 10 assists Messi 1 trophy