With the resumption of football games in Europe, fans again began to discuss who is the best footballer in the world - Barcelona striker Lionel Messi or Juventus striker Cristiano Ronaldo. However, the first matches with the participation of stars showed that now such disputes are not entirely appropriate. Both players still do not demonstrate the fantastic level of the game, thanks to which they previously managed to outshine the rest. And this causes fans a lot of questions.
Ronaldo took a particularly noticeable step back. In June, he spent three matches without replacements. But he could never be called the best in his team and the player who would have turned the course of the meeting, as was often the case before the coronavirus pandemic. Juventus managed to play a goalless draw with AC Milan, lose Napoli in the penalty shootout of the Italian Cup finals, without scoring in regular time, and defeat Bologna in tenth place in the Italian Championship.
Ronaldo's statistics in these matches were not outstanding. Immediately after returning to the field, the Portuguese was remembered for the unrealized penalty in the goal of “Milan”. In the same game, he struck nine shots on goal, but only two of them reached the target. On account of the five-time winner of the Golden Ball, there were only two dangerous passes and three won martial arts. Things were even worse in the lost final of the Italian Cup. Ronaldo made three shots and only once hit the goal, he put partners in dangerous positions, too, only twice. In the penalty shootout, the Portuguese did not manage to take part, and as a result, Juventus missed the opportunity to win the trophy.
“Yesterday I talked with Ronaldo for a long time. I hope that from tomorrow - at least in a week - he will again become the fantastic player we know. Now he’s just not in his best physical condition, ”said Juventus head coach Maurizio Sarri before the match with Bologna.
Against “Bologna” Ronaldo played better and finally scored a penalty, but in addition to him the striker had just one more shot on target. And in dangerous passes, and in the accuracy of the passes, and in touching the ball, he lost to the partners.
In total, in 270 minutes Ronaldo has never distinguished himself from the game, and it was difficult to say that he was close to this. So far, the Portuguese has not gained a good physical shape, which would allow him to play much more intensively and more often pose a threat to rivals.
Ronaldo’s unimportant form is also noted by the president of Lyon, Jean-Michel Olya, whose team will play in August with Juventus in the Champions League.
“We understand that Juventus will inevitably be a super-alphabet. But not because they are stronger, but because the Turin will be in good shape, even though Ronaldo now seems to be not at his highest level, ”says Olya.
There may be complaints from Barcelona fans and towards Messi. On the one hand, his statistics are now much better than those of Ronaldo. The Argentinean spent four matches in the championship of Spain, in which he managed to score two goals and make three assists. His team won three victories during this time, tied once and never missed, which, however, did not prevent Real Madrid from catching up with Barcelona in the standings.
On the other hand, in the last two matches Messi played in a completely unusual style for himself, which immediately affected his usefulness. He often neglected the opportunity to give the ball to his partners and preferred to go on the beat himself when rivals appeared in front of him. But usually it only led to losses and frustrated attacks. In the past, such a game could be forgiven for Messi, since he regularly showed that he could beat any football player, but in matches with Sevilla and Athletic, in which Barcelona scored only once, his losses were quite expensive for the team.
In those cases when Messi did not keep up with the ball and lost to the opponents in speed, one could talk about ordinary fatigue. Still, in 11 days he had to spend four full matches after a long quarantine break and a minor injury. But at the same time, Messi still did not change his style of play and was in no hurry to share the ball with partners.
The Barcelona head coach Kike Seten didn’t influence the situation either, who could restrain his main star or just give Lionel the opportunity to relax. However, so far he has not managed to overcome his dependence on Messi, who in June took part in five goals of a team of seven, and therefore the Argentine can’t leave the field.
Both Ronaldo and Messi are now in a difficult situation - their clubs are fighting for victory in the national championships, and there will still be no less difficult Champions League matches ahead. Fans of both players can only hope that the decline in their physical form will pass, and the teams will adapt to them and provide support so that not everything on the field depended only on these two players.