Select a team

Should Cristiano Ronaldo beat Lionel Messi to Balon D'Or, asks Guillem Balague, after looking at stats?

Should Cristiano Ronaldo beat Lionel Messi to Balon D'Or, asks Guillem Balague, after looking at stats?

I asked my colleague at Revista de la Liga and the Spanish football coverage, the statistician and excellent goalkeeper James Wheeler, to put in stats a feeling I've had for few months now.

Back to story

Comments (66)

Incredible Eyoh (Real Madrid fan) says...

CR7 deserves it

Posted 09:31 6th December 2012

Godwin Sengweni (Arsenal fan) says...

yo article was in fact justification for Messi to lift the honouyrs.

Posted 09:19 6th December 2012

Kyle Unitt (Aston Villa fan) says...

so true! ronaldo has proved he can score anywere and also pproved himself in the premier leauge messi personally i think would be nothing without barca look at the players around him ronaldo also performs amazing for international aswell you rarly hear about messi, although messi is fantastic i love watching ronaldo so entertaining and his goals are by far better than messi's

Posted 09:07 6th December 2012

Zama Skenjana (Barcelona fan) says...

Why mst u feel pity for Ronaldo he left man united to challenge Messi now he got Messi doing his magic far better than him,I remember when Ronaldo was signing for Madrid it was a ceremony made in heaven between Madrid $ Man United fans and we barca familly were waiting and watching the glits $ glamour.and I hate what u saying that everything barcelona team is creating for Messi whilst Messi is the more involved in the game than Ronaldo for country and club,u r biasd Man U fan give credit where its due, Messi for life barca for life

Posted 08:49 6th December 2012

Emmanuel Kajumbi (Manchester United fan) says...

CR7 has done it all for Real Madrid and the whole world has proved that, he is the man hopefully this time come next year.

Posted 06:53 6th December 2012

Mmahlame James (Real Madrid fan) says...

The truth has been spoken,RONALDO deserve Ballon D'Or Awards of 2012.......................

Posted 06:49 6th December 2012

Manchini Chakalov (Real Madrid fan) says...

Well said, Farca plays for Messi. In my humble opinion all the tactic of Farca is "pass the ball to Messi", as Busquets said at the end of last year-" We are playing for Messi to score" and in the last game ag/st Espaniol Messi scored 4 goals, and this is how he pass CR7.

Posted 03:49 6th December 2012

Lakis Fourouklas (Liverpool fan) says...

I really wonder what these stats are all about. Did your expert forget all about the assists or final passes, or whatever you may call them? Or should we put our faith in a Jose Murinho faithful, who I don't know how came to write Pep's biography? Yes, Messi wasn't happy when Iniesta won the last honor. Yes, he's not a saint. But he's not diving all the time and trying to put the referees into the corner like Saint Jose and Saint Cristiano do. Capiche? And no, I don't speak Italian but probably Guillem does.

Posted 22:46 5th December 2012

John Smott (Arsenal fan) says...

I dont agree with the statment about having more touches of the ball. Yes messi gets more touches but that's also down to his style of play not just his team mates. For example messi will play more quick 1-2's and one touch passing than ronaldo. In addition, the fact that he gets more touches could be down to superior runs and movement off the ball.

Posted 22:24 5th December 2012

Sean Mchugh (Liverpool fan) says...

Not to mention Ronaldo carried Portugal to within a whisper of the euro 2012 final and for me was the player of the tournement

Posted 20:18 5th December 2012

Mike O'brien (Barcelona fan) says...

Good and interesting stats. However, I disagree totally with your comment that Real would miss Ronaldo more than Barca would miss Messi. You've already commented that the Barca style of play is all about getting the ball to Messi. There is nobody to replace him in their style of play. Take him out and where do the goals come from? Not Pedro, not Alexis Sanchez , probably David Villa but he hardly ever gets a game. No, for me, Messi should win for the fourth consecutive year.

Posted 19:09 5th December 2012

Owen Williams (Cardiff City fan) says...

What about Andres Iniesta?! The best player in a superb Spanish team and quite simply a creative and skillful genius for both club and country. Ronaldo and Messi will probably get other chances for the award but Iniesta may not. He is the heartbeat of both teams he represents. Surely he should be in with a shout?

Posted 18:26 5th December 2012

Sathish Lakshmipathy (Manchester United fan) says...

How come the number of assists is not discussed? When you analyze statistically, its one of the most important measure beside goals scored. I would like to see the difference in that. The one time I thought Messi didnt deserve the Ballon D'or is after the WC where Sneijder had the best season (Italian Cup, Serie A, Champions League and took the Dutch team to the WC finals). This time, its might be a close call between Messi and Ronaldo.

Posted 18:22 5th December 2012

Daniel Lyons (Liverpool fan) says...

Messi is way better than Ronaldo and the fact that he went to so much to praise Ronaldo proves that Messi cant be beaten

Posted 18:14 5th December 2012

Noman Haider (Barcelona fan) says...

Football is not only about scoring goals but also about the attitude towards the game.Although Messi has more goals than Ronaldo he is also a humble and a nice guy.while Ronaldo is egoistic. Even though Ronaldo is not a striker he is not only behind in goals but also behind in Assists, and most of his goals come from penalties... And as some people say that Messi score with the help of Iniesta and Xavi.. in 2012 only few if them were assisted by no,6 and no.8 ... while in Real Madrid Ozil sets up goals for Ronaldo.check the stats for confirmation..

Posted 16:47 5th December 2012

Bafana Ncebe (Real Madrid fan) says...

he simply deserves the award, more than messi and iniesta. he managed to bit messi at home for the title dicider game at comp nou, and bit messi on spanish super cup, of which his goal was the dicider on the second leg.

Posted 14:24 5th December 2012

Phil B (Stoke City fan) says...

Good points in there. One more point, in relation to Messi's better stats, is that as you say Messi is Barcelona's gameplan. Ronaldo is Real Madrid's biggest outlet, but is not their only significant outlet. If you look at the stats table last season, Higuain and Benzema were both above 20 goals also, whereas Barcelona's next top goalscorers had 12 and 10, in Sanchez and Xavi. Same goes for assists, with Ozil, Di Maria, Ronaldo, Xabi Alonso, Kaka, Benzema and Higuain all making significant assists totalling 74, opposed to Messi, Dani Alves, Iniesta, Fabregas and Xavi totalling 50. This alone suggests that Ronaldo doesn't get as much chances for assists and goals, and not as many touches as you say, but he takes them. The more clinical player.

Posted 13:52 5th December 2012

Luke Martin (Rangers fan) says...

Great article. I do not think that James was "trying hard to justify" Ronaldo getting the award, the evidence is there. It's not just about scoring goals, it's about doing when it really matters. Ronaldo effectively won the league for Real with the winner in el classico, and Messi effectively knocked Barca out of the champions league when he missed that penalty. I do not think there is any doubt that Messi is the greatest player in the world, for me, he is the best ever. But I think Ronaldo should win the Balon D'or this time

Posted 09:41 5th December 2012

Joga B (Manchester United fan) says...

ur Argument is flawed on soo many levels , ur biased is unbelievable. Messi had 30 assist ronaldo 15 -- also had assists against chelsea n madrid Messi -202 shots Cronaldo -264 shots Messi, 22/50 or 44% directly assisted (no involvement in buildup play) Cronaldo, 35/46 or 80% directly assisted (no involvement in buildup play) Messi 56 throughballs, 92 key passes Cronaldo 19 throughballs, 60 key passes pass completion rate messi 84.3% ronaldo 80.6% Messi 176 dribbles Cronaldo 73 dribbless Man of the Match messi 24 ronaldo 15 Messi 61 turnovers Cronaldo 86 turnovers n the reason messi has more touches is because he plays more withdrawn n is a team player he also has 3 times as many completed passes Goals Assists Goals Assists 
Ronaldo 60 15 Messi 73 29 Benzema 32 13 Fabregas 15 11 Higuain 26 9 Alexis 15 5 Di Maria 7 16 Xavi 14 9 Ozil 7 20 Iniesta 8 10 Callejon 13 0 Pedro 13 6 kaka 8 12 Alves 2 16 marcelo 3 8 villa 9 2 Casillas 117 saves Valdes 82 saves Contribution to total amount of team goals    Messi - 54% of Barcelona goals  Van Persie - 49% of Arsenal gls  Huntelaar - 48.7% of Schalke gls  Ibrahimovic - 45% of Milan gls  Ronaldo - 43% of R. Madrid gls  Gomez - 40% of Bayern gls without ronaldo`s goal madrid still win the title without messi barcelona doesnt qualify for the champions league its an award for individual brilliance if its about tittles Torres/Mata should win. champions league, euro, FA cup¿iker casillas/Ramos league + Euro. xavi - iniesta euro n copa ¿ pirlo/chellini Seria A-- Euro final ¿ david silva League n Euro

Posted 09:06 5th December 2012

Ola Md (Real Madrid fan) says...

Both of them are the best player for now! And question here is who should be the winner? merely looking at issue and to put justice, C. Ronaldo is better to win this year. And it should be stated clearly it not issue of likeness but their effort in contribution to entertaining the world in global football. Thank you.

Posted 07:40 5th December 2012

Latest Poll

What do you think would help increase women's sports participation?

View Results