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Ronaldo talks record year, Messi & more

CRonaldo (Getty Images)

Cristiano Ronaldo had himself a banner year.

No, his season won't end atop the UEFA Champions League winners' podium, and his miss in the penalty kick shootout in the UCL semifinals certainly put a damper on his 2011-2012 resume, but after a season in which Ronaldo scored against every team in La Liga, tallied 46 goals in league play and 60 across all competitions and led Real Madrid to a record 100 points en route to their 32nd Spanish league title, his place as one of the world's greatest players is secure.

In a sit-down interview with CNN, Ronaldo talked about his and Real Madrid' record season, Jose Mourinho, his Champions League disappointment and his individual rivalry with Lionel Messi.

When the subject of his personal rivalry with Messi came up and how the two are always compared, Ronaldo said (with a noted sarcastic laugh at the end): "It's not about who is better. I just don't like to be compared with anybody. Some people say I'm better, other people say it's him, but at the end of the day, they're going to decide who is the best player at the moment, which I think is me."

Video of the interview is after the jump:


What did you think of Ronaldo's remarks? Think his season is going underappreciated? Do you think he is better than Messi?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. You give WAY too much credit to things he can’t control. The simple fact is his belief, desire, and work ethic to be the best he can is only matched by a handful of footballers in the world.

  2. Matt,

    Your stats and these comparisons are useless. Messi and Ronaldo are asked to do different things for their teams and do them very well.

    Messi may not even be the best player on his own team. You could argue that Xavi and Iniesta have equally if not more important roles. They just don’t receive the same hype.

    It would have been fascinating to see what a real manager might have done with the 2010 Argentina World Cup team. Messi was unable to raise them much past the minimum that its talent required, i.e. a world class talented pub team. They had one strategy, give the ball to Leo and let him take everyone on. That will get you far but it won’t win you games at the same rate Barca and Spain did.

    And speaking about that, you want to know how successful Barca would be without Leo?

    Look at Spain.

    They have done and will do okay.

  3. Matt,

    What ever else you want to say about him, Ronaldo is not little.

    If you ever watch him he is quite capable of overpowering defenders.

  4. Flip it around the other way.

    I’m sure many of us know people who are gifted and talented but, for whatever reason, never harness all those gifts and make the most out of them to accomplish something meaningful.

    Ronaldo can be proud that the entire package came together in him to make him arguably the number one or two player in the game.

    Some of that package was beyond his control, but the part of it that was, well Ronaldo got that all right. The man takes pride in his profession,has worked his whole life to get it right, to get to the top and deserves to be enormously proud of that.

    How many people, in any profession can you say that about?

    Ronaldo seems like a charming character and has been at this for a while now. And in that time he has been comparatively well behaved (he doesn’t seem to be infected with John Terry disease) and I’m not so sure he is as arrogant as you seem to think he is.

    As for his immortal soul, I don’t think any of us are in a position to judge him. That is his business and I do not wish to be so hypocritical as to say I really care about some guy I don’t know. Frankly who are we to say we really know if he is a good person or not? That is real arrogance.

    To tell you the truth I don’t think he will burn in the lower regions; there is far too long a line in front of him. The world has got a lot more to worry about than an allegedly arrogant soccer player whose greatest sin seems to be pissing off opposing fans.

  5. ok so heres some hard stats for you

    2010-2011 Season:
    Messi: 29
    Ronaldo: 28

    Messi: 17
    Rondaldo: 8

    Goals + assists:
    Messi 46
    Ronaldo 36

    Shooting Accuracy:
    Messi 68%
    Ronalldo 53%

    Chance Conversion:
    Messi 26%
    Ronaldo 18%

    Pass Completion
    Messi 86%
    Ronaldo 76%

    Cross completion percentage:
    Messi 14%
    Ronaldo 11%

    Dripple Completion percentage
    Messi 55%
    Ronaldo 45%

    Yes that may be last season, but regardless it has been that same trend since messi came onto the scene.

    Also note Ronaldo is 27 wheres messi is 24, Messi is constantly argued for being the best player to ever play the game, and i have NEVER heard anyone mention that of Ronaldo. Even the people who say messi cant be considered such until he wins a world cup? Messis performance in the last world cup even though he didnt score was SEVERELY better than Ronaldos. Messi was the reason argentina was the highest scoring team in the tournament, theyre entire offence ran through him wheres Ronaldo was frankly ineffective 80% of the time.

  6. For the sake of completeness, and at the risk of getting blacklisted by SBI, a website I adore, I will say this: ESPN’s story (which is headlined in the context of his affection for Man U) portrays Ronaldo’s quotes in a far different light than this post, and gives you a completely different impression of his answer to the question(s) about Messi.

  7. A few problems with lack of humility:

    Most religions and / or cultural values center around humility. Christianity teaches humility as a very central pillar of faith. Japanese culture teaches humility in a broad sense (part of the honor code). Those who lack humility may be perceived, in the eyes of anyone who has any exposure to certain religious / cultural teachings, as bad people.

    Also, my personal belief is that there is always an element that is uncontrollable in what makes somebody great at anything. There are droves of players who train as hard as Ronaldo, and who have been doing so for their whole lives. Why aren’t they as good as him? Because something Ronaldo CAN’T control (genetics etc) makes him stand out. So who are you to be cocky and arrogant when the reason you are better than the other guys is because of something you can’t control?

    Humility is more attractive than arrogance to the lay fan, for a bunch of reasons. For me, the second reason I laid out is what really hits home. I pretty much have decided that anyone who isn’t humble about their greatness in any capacity lacks an understanding of the world in a bigger picture. When your day starts and ends with you, you pretty much suck.

    NOW, I’m sure Ronaldo is charitable, though I haven’t looked it up. So this may set him apart from your average jerk. But being good at soccer doesn’t give him the right to be an arrogant d-bag, because like I said, a significant portion of why he is so good is completely independent of anything he has ever done.

    Just trying to offer a different perspective. The same goes for really really good cab drivers 😉

  8. You know what I think is a joke… a coach who is “tired” or just can’t rebuild a team that was given to him all ready to go in my opinion, with the supposed “best” player in the world.

  9. Ronaldo is a for versatile player than Messi. I think he is better. Ronaldo can score from distance, from free kicks, on his own, or with passing from teammates. He has scored 112 goals in 101 La Liga games. This is something Messi cannot even match. Finally, Ronaldo won this season and Messi did not.

  10. Claiming to kind of remember one weird, esoteric stat from one game they played against each other isn’t really a strong argument.

    I never defended CR’s attitude or personality, but since you bring it up, Messi is not averse to diving, whining to refs, and asking refs to show cards himself.

    Who asked you to support Ronaldo or any team he plays for? I certainly didn’t – I don’t support him or Madrid (or ManU, or Sporting, or Portugal, for that matter). My only point is that I think Ronaldo is a better soccer player than Messi. I didn’t insult Messi; in fact, I went out of my way to stress how great of a player I think he is. I just rate Ronaldo a little higher.

    I don’t understand how Ronaldo is “a joke,” nor do I understand the “BAHAHAHA” etc. part of your comment.


    yeah cant put enough of that on here, Ronaldo is a joke in comparison to Messi

    I remember a stat from a previous match between Messi’s and Ronaldos teams, im not sure if it was Man U or Real Madrid, but Messi lost the ball something like 15 times, but won it back 12 of those times, wheres Ronaldo lost the ball something like 22 times and won it back ZERO or those times.

    He is a prissy little footballer who thinks he is entitled to everything, if he loses the ball he thinks its a foul, if he misses a shot, oh the ball must be shotty.

    He is the TO of the soccer world, and frankly i will NEVER support any team he is on, especially if its one managed by scum like Mourinho

  12. Consider ourselves lucky to be able to watch 2 of the greatest of all time. I think CR’s right, they push each other and we all benefit from it. For me Messi is better, but the interview improved CR’s standing with me.

  13. Let me start by saying that Messi is a great, great player. But I think Ronaldo is clearly the best player in the world. People don’t like him personally, and that’s fair enough, but the guy has no weaknesses on the field. (Not that Messi has many, but he is a small guy, not very strong in the air, and, IMO, average at set pieces.) Yes, Messi scored a ridiculous amount of goals this season, but so did CR. And look at their totals, and that of their teammates: Messi is the only Barca player that scores – none of his teammates were in the top ten goalscorers in La Liga this year, whereas three of the top five goalscorers in La Liga this season were from Real Madrid. If CR was as selfish a player as people make him out to be, he could have had twenty more goals this year.

    People are on Messi’s jock for several reasons: 1.) he is indisputably a great player, 2.) he isn’t Ronaldo, who is reviled by most people, and 3.) Barca play a more attractive style of soccer than Madrid. But if we’re honestly weighing who is the better, more skilled, more complete player, I say Ronaldo all day.

  14. Just proud that the best players in the world, if not the best players of all-time are Latin! 😉

    Messi is by far the best futbolero of all time…. Messi is the only athlete to come close to a Micheal Jordan type figure. Jordan obviously still on top for me. Messi wins a World Cup, I say he would probably the second best athlete to have ever played a sport.

    Ronaldo definitely the 2nd best as right now…. Dempsey will be second best next season with I can dream!

  15. He might think he has a rivalry with Messi, but the reality is that there is no rivalry. It’s Messi and then everyone else.

    Messi is in a league by himself. It’s hilarious that he thinks he’s better than Messi. I guess that would explain the way he plays after Messi scores a hat trick or more. It’s like he has to keep up.

  16. I don’t think it was delusional or conceited for that matter. He is confident in his skills and when he said he was the better player he laughed about it. The narrative certainly reads alot different than when you watch the video itself.

    Frankly,I thought Ronaldo came across as rather charming in that interview and I’m not a huge fan.

  17. The dude is a baller. If he didn’t have the belief in himself that he has, he wouldn’t be near the player he is. The question of the best player, tho, is debatable

  18. What makes you think that Ronaldo is delusional? I did not hear anything outrageous in this interview and I am a Barca supporter. You can tell that he respects Messi and Barca despite being a rival.

  19. “Typical delusional and conceited Ronaldo”


    You may not agree with his conclusions but didn’t say anything he couldn’t back up.

    Leave out the astronomical transfer fee and how many clubs do you think would kill to have him right now?

  20. I never understood why people are surprised/angered when an elite athlete is cocky/arrogant. Ronaldo is better at player soccer than everybody but one person.Who would be humble in that position? Like Chris Rock once said there are arrogant cab drivers.

  21. you trollin’, avi? would’ve been really easy to insert a “[laughs]” at the end of your last quote. kinda makes the tone a little more accurate, don’t you think?

    everybody already knows cristiano’s a bit arrogant; he doesn’t need any help from you. 🙂

  22. Typical delusional and conceited Ronaldo. Fitting answer molded by a Mourinho type of a player. Wish he’d be more humble so he wouldn’t ruin his “legacy”


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