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What if Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi switched teams? A fan’s view
Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona forward Lionel Messi are two of the best players in the world. They play for two of the best teams in the world. Both players and teams have celebrated much success. But what would happen if Ronaldo and Messi switched teams? Here are some thoughts on what might happen to Ronaldo, Messi and the two teams.
Sharing the Ball
The system at Barcelona is dependent on passing and possession. It is orchestrated by their world class midfielders Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta. Xavi and Iniesta maintain possession by holding the ball and making strategic passes. Messi fits in well with this system since he supports Xavi and Iniesta possessing the ball. However, Ronaldo would have to adjust. With Real Madrid, Ronaldo is allowed to be more selfish with the ball. He is asked to beat defenders off the dribble. Ronaldo would have to learn to share the ball more on Barcelona.
Ronaldo and Messi are prolific goal scorers. Ronaldo is a clinical finisher. He would flourish on Barcelona with Xavi and Iniesta setting him up. Messi is a proven scorer on Barcelona. But a big reason for his success is the superior midfield that he plays with. Messi has not had the same goal scoring success with the Argentina National Team. This suggests that Messi may rely on his teammates more than Ronaldo does. If Messi and Ronaldo swapped teams, I think Messi would have less goals and Ronaldo would have more at this point in their careers.
Best Player in the World
In 2011, Messi won the FIFA Ballon d'Or trophy, crowning him the best player in the world. He also won the 2011 UEFA Best Player in Europe Award. These recent distinctions are primarily due to his performance with Barcelona. Ronaldo could have been the winner of these awards if he was on Barcelona. On Barcelona, Ronaldo would have a better supporting cast. That would make him even more dangerous. Messi might not be as successful on Real Madrid since many of his goals are a result of the support from his excellent Barcelona teammates.
Best Team in the World
Barcelona are regarded as the best football club in the world right now. That probably would not change if Ronaldo and Messi changed teams. I think Ronaldo would improve the Barcelona offense with his finishing skills. Messi would be the best player on Real Madrid, but he would not elevate the team above Barcelona.
Who do you think would flourish more if Ronaldo and Messi switched teams? Would Barcelona or Real Madrid have more success? Leave a comment below. If you are not sure, here are two videos to help you decide: Cristiano Ronaldo, The Legend of Lionel Messi.
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Edwin Torres has been coaching competitive youth soccer since 2001. He enjoys coaching, playing and watching the game of soccer.
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