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The world's greatest footballers - but who's the best?

The battle of Messi vs Ronaldo has the world gripped.

In this website, they go head to head in terms of goals, stats, achievements, abilities and much more.

Always up-to-date, reliable and accurate, this is your main port of call to see who's currently leading the constant back-and-forth battle for the golden boot.


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Last Stats Update: 19 Oct 21:45 GMT

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Who Should Win the 2015 Ballon d’Or?

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Last week, the 3-man shortlist for the 2015 Ballon d’Or was finally revealed. As has been the case for almost a decade now, Messi and Ronaldo both made the cut as was widely expected. The other spot had been very much up for grabs this year though, with Lewandowski, Neymar and Suarez emerging as the favourites since the start of the new season.

Neymar’s sensational form of late ensured he ultimately pulled away from his competitors to grab that final space, and has even had some people claiming he should take the 2nd spot on the podium this year!

2015 Ballon d’Or Finalists
Player Previous Appearances in Final 3
Messi 8
Ronaldo 7
Neymar 0

Ballon d'Or Winners

Did the right players make the final shortlist?

There has been outrage from some quarters that Luis Suarez didn’t make the final cut over Cristiano Ronaldo.

This view point certainly has enough merit to warrant discussion, but has Suarez’s year been so good as to oust last year’s Ballon d’Or winner from the podium altogether?

Well, let’s look at the stats…

2015 Club Stats
Player Goals Assists Games
Ronaldo 46 15 48
Messi 44 22 49
Neymar 41 12 51
Suarez 41 22 53

Correct as of 7th December 2015. See the calendar year page for guaranteed up to date 2015 statistics

Suarez and Neymar have matched each other for goals this year, with Neymar boasting the ever so slightly better goal ratio. Suarez has notched up many more assists though and on paper, looks hard done by not to make the final 3.

Neymar’s flair, creativity and impressive link up play this year seems to have edged him ahead of Suarez, as well as finishing joint top scorer in the Champions League last season.

Barca’s treble win weighs heavily in Suarez’s favour when it comes to the choice between him and Ronaldo. However, whilst trophies are certainly a major factor, the Ballon d’Or is awarded for individual brilliance at the end of the day, and Ronaldo has had yet another incredible year, having been crowned the best player in the world for the last 2 years running now.

He finished last season as joint Champions League top scorer along with Neymar and Messi (in fewer games) and has scored the most goals in club competitions in 2015 (46) in fewer games than his rivals (48).

He also picked up both the Pichichi (La Liga top scorer) and European Golden Shoe (Europe’s top scorer) awards for the 2nd time in succession, off the back of his best ever goals return in La Liga; a mind-numbing 48 goals in just 35 appearances.

These numbers mean – for me at least – that Ronaldo still deserves his place in the top 2 footballers in the world.

It is now undeniable though that the gap is finally closing.

So who should win the 2015 Ballon d’Or?

As I’ve alluded to already, I think Neymar will run the top 2 close, but ultimately the Messi and Ronaldo dynasty will live on for another year.

Which of these guys will pick up the coveted golden trophy then? Firstly, let’s look at how their stats compare…

Messi 2015 Calendar Year Stats
Goals Assists Games
Argentina 4 3 8
Barcelona 44 22 49
Total 48 25 57

Correct as of 7th December 2015. See the calendar year page for guaranteed up to date 2015 statistics

Ronaldo 2015 Calendar Year Stats
Goals Assists Games
Portugal 3 0 5
Real Madrid 46 15 48
Total 49 15 53

Correct as of 7th December 2015. See the calendar year page for guaranteed up to date 2015 statistics

Going by the stats alone, it’s a very close run thing this year but Ronaldo just edges it with one more goal in 4 less games altogether.

However, we all know there is a lot more to it than just statistics.

Despite Ronaldo’s goalscoring heroics (he’s scored 5 goals in a single league game on 2 occasions in 2015), Real Madrid have endured a completely trophy-less year.

Lionel Messi on the other hand has enjoyed one of the most trophy-ridden years of his glittering career, scoring several pivotal goals along the way. His superb brace in the Champions League semi-final against Bayern Munich set Barca on their way to what was a convincing win in the end.

He also scored the goal that secured the league title in a 1-0 win at Atletico Madrid, a notoriously difficult place to get a result.

And to round the treble off, Messi scored one of the most impressive goals of his career in the Copa Del Rey final against Athletic Bilbao; a goal that is among the finalists for the 2015 Puskas award (given for the best goal).

Messi Copa Del Rey Final Goal

Love this angle of Messi's incredible Copa Del Rey final goal earlier this year.It's one of 10 goals nominated for the 2015 Puskas award. You can vote here: http://www.fifa.com/ballon-dor/puskas-award/

Posted by MessivsRonaldo.net on Sunday, 15 November 2015

When all of these factors are considered, it will perhaps come as no surprise that Lionel Messi is the red hot favourite to collect his 5th Ballon d’Or in January, having watched Ronaldo take it home for the last 2 years.

Cristiano’s desire to be the best is well known so this one will hurt, but if he keeps scoring at his superhuman levels, he will surely be back in the frame again for next year’s award.

Ballon d'Or Winners

What do you think? Have your say…

So who's the best?

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