Barcelona's Lionel Messi celebrates his second goal against Real Sociedad during their Spanish first division soccer match at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona August 19, 2012. REUTERS/Gustau Nacarino
Argentina's Lionel Messi (L) and Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo attend UEFA's Best Player award during the Champions League draw ceremony at Monaco's Grimaldi Forum in Monte Carlo August 30, 2012. (Photo : REUTERS/Eric Gaillard )
Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after defeating Czech Republic in their Euro 2012 quarter-final soccer match at the National stadium in Warsaw, June 21, 2012. (Photo : REUTERS/Peter Andrews)
Who is better? Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi? The two greatest living soccer players not only compete in the same league but for rival squads. Messi has had the edge over the last few years as Barcelona has been the supreme squad in European soccer, but Ronaldo may be having the best year of his career. Every week we will look at which player had the better week and which holds the edge to date for the season. Here is a look at the first three weekends to date in the two players' seasons.
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Messi: The Argentine had a tremendous week to start the season when he scored two goals in five minutes to lead Barcelona to a 5-1 win over Real Sociedad. Then days later he followed it up with a goal against hated rivals Real Madrid in the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup.
Ronaldo: Ronaldo's first week was forgettable at best as the superstar had no goals or points in a disappointing 1-1 draw against Valencia. In the Super Cup he scored one goal, but his squad ultimately lost the match.
Stats through Week 1
Messi: 2 goals, 0 assists (1 goal in Super Cup)
Ronaldo: 0 goals, 0 assists (1 goal in Super Cup)
Edge: Messi scored 3 goals in two games that both resulted in wins. Ronaldo had one goal, but his team had zero wins in the first matches. Messi 1-0 Ronaldo.
Messi: Another two goals for Messi as he led his team to a 2-1 win against Osasuna. Throw in the fact that Barcelona was trailing this match for over 60 minutes before Messi stepped up. In the Super Cup he scored one goal but his squad lost the tournament.
Ronaldo: Another dreadful effort against Getafe left Ronaldo scoreless for two straight games, and what's worse, Real Madrid without a win. He did salvage the week with a win in the second leg of the Super Cup which showcased another Ronaldo goal.
Stats through Week 2
Messi: 4 goals, 0 assists (2 goals in Super Cup)
Ronaldo: 0 goals, 0 assists (2 goals in Super Cup)
Edge: Ronaldo won the Super Cup, but the squad suffered a big loss to Getafe in which he was not a major factor. Messi had the only two goals for his squad to lead them to victory over Osasuna. Clutch performance there for Messi. Messi 2-0 Ronaldo
Messi: After the Super Cup loss and UEFA player of the year loss to teammate Andres Iniesta, Messi had a relatively quiet week. He assisted on Adriano's lone goal against Valencia, but was otherwise below his usual standard.
Ronaldo: A week to remember or forget for Ronaldo? Tristiano's latest tantrum dampened the fact that he scored two goals in Madrid's first win.
Stats through Week 3
Messi: 4 goals, 1 assist
Ronaldo: 2 goals, 0 assists
Edge: Ronaldo scored two goals and led his team to victory. Messi was a non-factor against Valencia even though Barcelona won. Ronaldo wins Week 3, but the score is still in the Argentine's favor. Messi 2-1 Ronaldo