It is one of football’s great debates. Who is the real Ronaldo? ‘El Fenomeno’ was one of the world’s greatest strikers and the most natural of goal scorers and his career statistics would’ve been unmatched had injuries not hampered such a magnificent career. On the other hand you have Cristiano Ronaldo, a goal scoring machine who is getting better and better every year.
What they do share was tremendous skill with the ball at their feet and both have the ability to seemingly dance past defenders and score the beautiful goal. Cristiano has also practically invented a new method of striking the ball that emphasises on shifting the ball in a different direction with dip and swerve and his free kicks are deadly.
El Fenomeno retired with a total of 405 club goals for mainly Real Madrid and Inter Milan. He also scored 62 times for Brazil which totals 467 goals in 678 games he featured in giving an average of 0.68 goals per game. In comparison, Cristiano has 401 goals in 589 games for Sporting Lisbon, Manchester United and his current side, Real Madrid. Staggeringly this gives the same goal scoring ratio as El Fenomeno at 0.68 but if you take into addition his scoring record for Portugal (52 goals in 118 games) the ratio comes down to 0.64 so El Fenomeno marginally comes out on top in terms of goal scoring ratio for club and country.
The Champions League and the World Cup are the most prestigious competitions for club and country so how do they fare in these two tournaments? Cristiano’s record at Real Madrid is astonishing, amassing 56 goals in 56 games. In 55 games at Manchester United he only scored 16 goals which take his total to 72 goals in 114 games in the Champions League. El Fenomeno managed a goal ratio of 0.50 in 73 games in the UCL, producing 37 goals for PSV, Barcelona, Inter Milan and Real Madrid. So in the UCL, Cristiano maintains his 0.64 goal ratio in his career with 0.63 in the Champions League whilst El Fenomeno only managed 0.50.
The World Cup however is a completely different story. It is worthwhile to say that El Fenomeno featured in one of the greatest ever World Cup side’s with Brazil in the late 90’s and early 00’s whereas Cristiano has featured in a Portugal side that has dwindled in the past decade. Cristiano has just 3 World Cup goals to his name whilst El Fenomeno has 15.
Cristiano Ronaldo has enjoyed a very illustrious career so far. He has 3 Premier League titles, 1 FA Cup, 2 League Cups, 1 Champions League title and a FIFA Club World Cup title from his time at Manchester United. At Real Madrid he has won, 1 La Liga title, 2 Copa del Rey’s, 1 Champions League title and the UEFA Super Cup. He also has a runners-up medal from the Euro 2004 tournament.
El Fenomeno has 2 titles from his native Brazil with Cruzeiro and Corinthians respectively and a KNVB Cup with PSV Eindhoven in 1996. With Barcelona he won the Copa del Rey once and the UEFA Cup Winners Cup. Inter Milan brought him one trophy in 1998 with the UEFA Cup. At Real Madrid he won 1 La Liga title and 1 Intercontinental Cup. So on a domestic level, Cristiano definitely has the upper hand but in terms of for their country, El Fenomeno has 2 World Cup medals, 2 Copa America titles as well as 1 World Cup runners-up medal and 2 Copa America runners-up medals.
El Fenomeno was named FIFA World Player of the Year 3 times in 1996, 1997 and 2002. He was crowned with the Ballon d’Or twice in 1997 and 2002 and also won the European Golden Boot in 1997. Cristiano won the FIFA World Player of the Year once in 2008 and also won the Ballon d’Or twice in 2008 and 2013 and is tipped to win it again this year. However, he has won the European Golden Boot (Now known as Shoe) three times in 2008, 2011 and 2014.
I wouldn’t like to separate the two players as both are going to go down as world greats but can you argue with a player that two World Cup medals to his collection?
Who do you think is the best Ronaldo?
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