Ronaldo vs Ronaldo

Peyroteo

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I guarantee you @Zehner never even consistently watched R9 play during his prime. Never even fecking watched him.

Same for 99% of the people here arguing R9 had a better peak. They don’t watch Serie A now nevermind 20 years ago... football italia and YouTube are enough when the narrative suits them.

He’ll have an opinion on Mbappe vs Neymar without actually watching PSG play for 99% of the year too. It’s all about passing through his ideas on what should and shouldn't be appreciated, not about who he thinks is better.
 

Zehner

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Jesus bloody Christ... have you ever actually studied statistics once in your life???

Your use of statistics there is so incredibly bad it’s unreal. Comparing an average of goals per game through completely different samples of their career will obviously bring very meaningless results for fecks sake.

At least admit it for once.

Then I’m biased for pointing out how incredibly stupid you were :lol:

Classic
There we go again, laughing smileys and insults. Shows I'm on the right track again :)

I'm positive my knowledge of statistics is comortably better than yours. Your point about comparing different time samples is true yet, as I already said, this was in response to the guy who claimed Cristiano had no peak. When I've got time I'll do one for Cristiano's top 5 consecutive years. Then I'll also make sure to correct the much bigger flaw in the 'analysis' I quickly conducted above: One should at least try to factor in the goal inflation boosting CR7's record.

Oh and I actually do watch the players I'm talking about. I even rewatched R9 games in recent years fully.

And you are accusing me of lying? Peyroteo level of double standards again.
 

Prometheus

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I was making the opposite statement to what he’d made to show how preposterous it was.

Load of shit both ways. R9 wasn’t as fast over long distances, wasn’t a third of the player Cristiano was in the air, was a worse crosser, worse left foot, etc. R9 was better at other things yet there’s people seriously claiming R9 was better because he picked up the ball at the halfway line and scored which Cristiano couldn’t do despite Cristiano having done that more often...

It’s such bullshit and I can guarantee you 100% Zehner never watched R9 consistently in his prime and neither did 99% of the people here saying it was a better peak. They watched the YouTube videos instead..
I remember Zehner from the other threads so it's very easy for me to believe that he's biased against Cristiano. But the notion that R9's peak was better than Ronaldo's is not so preposterous to me. I remember a very similar argument made when the Mbappe thread went off-topic that R9 was better than Messi age for age up until the injury, which a lot of people who have watched R9 agreed with. For me it still remains that he's better than anyone age for age until injury, but for the actual peak I'm not so sure.
 
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11101

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Messi and Ronaldo only score a lot due to the era of football they’re playing in despite scoring more than their peers in a way it’s never been seen before.

If you actually believe teams are tailoring their styles in order to get a specific player scoring a lot of goals then I don’t know what to tell you. There isn’t one single manager that thinks that way, the percentage of goals the top scorer scores out of all the team’s goals is still virtually the same on average....

There is always another excuse as to why they score so much.

Kids worshipping the great players of their time is natural, what isn’t natural is the draft crowd in here looking at everything through nostalgia and romanticism goggles without giving a shit about how good the players actually are.
No, it's not. If you want to bury your head in the sand to protect your beloved Ronaldo then that's your problem, but don't make things up to do it.
 

Peyroteo

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No, it's not. If you want to bury your head in the sand to protect your beloved Ronaldo then that's your problem, but don't make things up to do it.
It is... Ronaldo scored a bigger percentage of his team’s goals than Messi or Ronaldo. Must be because the team played for him to score... great logic.

500 goals behind by the time Cristiano will be done, must be the slight goal inflation :houllier:

Hopefully when you guys compare their peaks you start taking into account one of those peaks lasted 5 times the amount of the other.
 
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Zehner

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"Hopefully when you guys compare their peak you factor in longevity" :lol:
 

dumbo

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Cristiano's eulogy is going to look more like a ftse 500 trading report with all the numbers and graphs. Cristiano statboys are strange people.

What is this oft repeated 500 goals thing too? I see:

Career total 539 417 61 37 12 4 164 122 19 14 795 594
Career total 343 247 41 33 35 19 93 49 6 4 518 352

Now I only have my calculator, which can't compete with the computational power of the statboys, but I make the difference around 250 with international goals.
 

Eendracht maakt macht

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People downgrading each of those two players achievements just so it suits their narrative are just weird imo.
 

Zlaatan

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Sure, which is why me and Cal? have it along with all the others.. oh. Argue about football and stop the personal attack for once for fecks sake. Don’t like me, put me on ignore instead of constantly trying to start personal arguments in the middle of threads because you’re too ignorant to argue about the sport.

I’m sorry my opinions make you so mad but you want to argue football on a football forum? Great. If not then you know what to do.
Hypocrisy at its very finest. You demand that I stop my personal attacks while in your next breath you call me too ignorant to argue about the sport, which btw seem to be you new go-to line for everyone who doesn't agree with you. Great stuff.

If you weren't spouting so much prejudice BS I might actually discuss football with you, but I don't think that will ever happen since you can't stop trying to convince yourself that your arrogant assumptions about people are actually true because you said they were.

Have a good one.
 

_00_deathscar

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Messi and Ronaldo only score a lot due to the era of football they’re playing in despite scoring more than their peers in a way it’s never been seen before.
They still score more than others, but Suarez (for a few seasons anyway), Ibrahimovic, Cavani etc have all hit insane numbers too, certainly in the 3 goals every 4 games category.

Messi and Ronaldo have just done it longer than anyone else in the modern era, for starters.

Before the start of this season, Suarez scored 213 goals in 279 games for Liverpool and Barcelona, and that included a very, very slow start at Barca where he didn't score for the first 10 games, and only scored 2 in the first 20, or something silly like that, as well as his self-inflicted suspensions etc. In fact, Suarez has won the Golden Shoe twice since (and including) 2013/2014 - the last player before that not named Lionel Messi/Cristiano (or Suarez) to win the Golden Shoe was Diego Forlan back in 2008/2009.

You can argue that for Ibrahimovic and Cavani, they were playing for PSG in the French League and expected to hit those numbers - but often times, that's exactly what it's like playing for Barcelona/Real Madrid in Spain and being their star striker/player.

The Ronaldo we saw from 1995-1999 would have smashed goal scoring records just like Messi and Cristiano have done if he was playing for one of those two teams. Hell the more unfit, slightly and ever increasingly more rotund version that was around from 2002-2006 was scoring near enough 2 in 3 for a Real Madrid (finished with 2 in 3 in the league, but his overall stats are a bit worse as he tailed off and Real Madrid weren't a good side in Europe in his day) side that was stacked with players but not particularly acutally a very good team that ever gelled properly, and certainly didn't dominate La Liga/Europe...
 

RedRonaldo

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I remember Zehner from the other threads so it's very easy for me to believe that he's biased against Cristiano. But the notion that R9's peak was better than Ronaldo's is not so preposterous to me. I remember a very similar argument made when the Mbappe thread went off-topic that R9 was better than Messi age for age up until the injury, which a lot of people who have watched R9 agreed with. For me it still remains that he's better than anyone age for age until injury, but for the actual peak I'm not so sure.
So conclusion is, R9 is better player from 20-22, CR7 is better player from 23-34
 

RedRonaldo

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They still score more than others, but Suarez (for a few seasons anyway), Ibrahimovic, Cavani etc have all hit insane numbers too, certainly in the 3 goals every 4 games category.

Messi and Ronaldo have just done it longer than anyone else in the modern era, for starters.

Before the start of this season, Suarez scored 213 goals in 279 games for Liverpool and Barcelona, and that included a very, very slow start at Barca where he didn't score for the first 10 games, and only scored 2 in the first 20, or something silly like that, as well as his self-inflicted suspensions etc. In fact, Suarez has won the Golden Shoe twice since (and including) 2013/2014 - the last player before that not named Lionel Messi/Cristiano (or Suarez) to win the Golden Shoe was Diego Forlan back in 2008/2009.

You can argue that for Ibrahimovic and Cavani, they were playing for PSG in the French League and expected to hit those numbers - but often times, that's exactly what it's like playing for Barcelona/Real Madrid in Spain and being their star striker/player.

The Ronaldo we saw from 1995-1999 would have smashed goal scoring records just like Messi and Cristiano have done if he was playing for one of those two teams. Hell the more unfit, slightly and ever increasingly more rotund version that was around from 2002-2006 was scoring near enough 2 in 3 for a Real Madrid (finished with 2 in 3 in the league, but his overall stats are a bit worse as he tailed off and Real Madrid weren't a good side in Europe in his day) side that was stacked with players but not particularly acutally a very good team that ever gelled properly, and certainly didn't dominate La Liga/Europe...
Suárez only has a one-off season scoring insane no. of goals, 50+ goals in 50+ games, all other seasons he only managed to scored around 30+ goals at best. Ronaldo at 33 still scored 44 goals last season, almost the worst he has done in a decade. Not a good comparison.

And let’s not bring up French league at all, the quality is night and day difference.

Plus I don’t see Benzema or Bale on their way of scoring 40 goals this season either, so your argument is fundamentally flawed.
 

Zehner

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Okay, here we go:

Comparing between different eras is difficult. Many in here argued that Cristiano’s goal record is far superior to R9’s, even during his prime. And while this is factually true, those who prefer the Brazilian’s peak argued that you cannot compare these numbers due to the goal inflation that took place in La Liga as well as an incredible goal deflation that happened in the Serie A dring the 90s. A certain user also argued that it was unfair to compare Cristiano’s long lasting peak with Ronaldo’s short flash of genius. So what I’ll do is, I’ll consider prime R9 (94-98) and compare him to prime Cristiano and try to factor in the differences in goals scored by top teams by computing an expected goals value for top teams of each league in the respective time frame.
Since this comparison will be only about goal scoring, we’ll take the four year period in which Cristiano had the best minutes per goal ratio. This will not about “what-ifs” or possible future scenarios or something like that – just what the players actually did. I chose minutes per goal as a metric since it perfectly depicts the goal threat a player depicts when he’s actually on the pitch. Peak instead of longevity since it is no discussion who wins in the latter. So, what was CR7’s best time, then?

This is in fact the period from 11/12 to 14/15 during which he scored every 82.7 minutes across all competitions. Worth mentioning, however, that you could also take 12 – 16 (83.4 minutes), 13-17 (83.4 minutes), 10-14 (85.8 minutes) or 14-18 (84.5 minutes) which is a testament to CR’s consistency.

Pre-injury Ronaldo averaged a goal every 97.30 minutes in the period from 94 to 98. However, it is worth mentioning that his numbers went downhill enormously when he joined Inter and the Serie A. Before his move to Italy, Ronaldo had scored every 88.79 minutes, yet in Serie A this ratio dropped to a goal every 122 minutes.

This can be explained with the competitiveness and defensive prowess of the Serie A in the 90s. In 97/98, the three teams with the most scored goals in Italy were Juve (67), Rome (67) and Florenz (65) – that’s an average of 66 goals. To provide some context, in 96/97, the top 3 were even worse with Sampdoria (60), Lazio (54) and Juventus (51). Juve managed to win the Serie A with 51 goals. In the following season, top teams performed slightly better with Roma (69), Lazio (65) and Milan/Inter (both 59) being the teams with the most goals. If we factor in these results in order to get a bigger sample, the average goal expectation for an (offensive) top team of Serie A was at 61,6.

In contrast, Real Madrid scored 121, 103, 104 and 118 goals in the considered time period from 2011 to 2015 (111,5 goals on average). The one comparable team in the league, Barcelona, scored 114, 115, 100 and 110 goals in the same time frame (109,75 goals on average). This means, as a top team in La Liga you were expected to roughly score 79,5% (!) more goals than a top team in Serie A during R9’s prime.

Using the same “model” on the La Liga seasons 95/96, 96/97 and 97/98, we get a goal expectation value of 79,4. Worth mentioning at this point that the only time a team scored more than 100 goals in that sample was when Ronaldo played for Barcelona. In general, you can say that La Liga top teams in CR7’s time are expected to score 39% more goals than in R9’s time. At this point, some may ask why I chose to use the average of the three best teams in R9’s period but only the two best in CR7’s. This is because in the 90s, the differences weren’t that clear. Madrid and Barca regularly ended up outside of the top 3 and their goals scored and total points were a lot closer to the rest of the bunch. During Cristiano’s time in Spain, the difference between Barca and Real on the one side and every other team in terms of offensive prowess is so gigantic that it wouldn’t make sense to factor in more than these two squads.

Some will now argue that this is actually because of the “Cristiano/Messi effect”. Arguably, their teams reached those crazy numbers solely because these two players played for them. In order to judge this, we can take a look at Cristiano’s and Ronaldo’s share of team goals. From 2011/12 to 2014/15, Cristiano contributed 33,9% of Real Madrid’s. Ronaldo from 94/95 to 97/98 contributed 30,63%. However, he missed half a season of football back then since he only played 1365 minutes in 95/96 (during which he still managed to contribute roughly 15% of PSV’s goal output of the whole season). If you take this season out of the equation, you reach an average contribution of 36.77%. For the Inter squad of 97/98, he even contributed 40% of their total goals. That’s slightly better than Cristiano’s best result of roughly 38% for Madrid in 14/15. Since these stats indicate that CR’s and R9’s importance for their teams is almost identical in terms of goal scoring, this argument can therefore be neglected. If anything, R9’s is slightly ahead.


So, how can we interpret these numbers?

Now, if one considers the goal inflation effect as well as the goal deflation in Serie A and adjust Ronaldo’s goal records accordingly, he ends up with 77.93 minutes per goal in the period from 94-98 which would be better than Cristiano's. This stat should of course be considered with a grain of salt but it highlights how ridiculously good Ronaldo’s goal scoring numbers were at a time when top teams scored far less goals than today – far better than interpreting his record in modern context suggests.

However, this quick analysis obviously still has many weaknesses. For one, it is true that Cristiano’s and Messi’s goal record is far ahead of anyone else in their time (didn’t have the motivation to do a similar comparison between R9 and other strikers of his era) and their peers struggled to put up comparable numbers even for a single season.
However, on the other hand Messi and CR7 were the centers of arguably the two best teams in the world which additionally played in a league in which they were several levels above everyone not named Atletico (which was only one level below them) - that was never true in the same way for R9. At the very least Suarez’ goal record in his best Barca season, Salah’s for Liverpool in 2017/18 or Mbappe’s and Neymar’s currently for PSG shows that other players can come close to it if they are the main target in a team that can dominate other teams through overarching quality. Apart from that, only R9's league goals in Spain and Italy have been adjusted to the expected goal values. If you wanted to be completely precise, you'd also had to consider factors for CL campaigns and other competitions which could possibly tilt the balance in favour of Cristiano again.
Additionally, minutes per goal in general does not factor in that Cristiano’s resistance to injuries is definitely worth considering. Even if his “goal density” does not beat Ronaldo’s you can still say that his consistency allows him to be on the pitch for more minutes throughout a season and thus score more goals. Yet, the Brazilian also never really played for a team as streamlined and “grown” as CR7’s Real Madrid. Instead, Ronaldo in his prime never spent more than one or two years at the same club, scoring insane amounts of goals from the very first day without any need for settling or adjusting. Nobody can really say how he would have profited from the automatisms and mutual understanding which teams profit from that grew together throughout multiple years.

Anyway, in general I think that R9's goal output if interpreted with the respective circumstances and context of his time in mind are much more impressive than at the first glance.
 

RedRonaldo

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Okay, here we go:

Comparing between different eras is difficult. Many in here argued that Cristiano’s goal record is far superior to R9’s, even during his prime. And while this is factually true, those who prefer the Brazilian’s peak argued that you cannot compare these numbers due to the goal inflation that took place in La Liga as well as an incredible goal deflation that happened in the Serie A dring the 90s. A certain user also argued that it was unfair to compare Cristiano’s long lasting peak with Ronaldo’s short flash of genius. So what I’ll do is, I’ll consider prime R9 (94-98) and compare him to prime Cristiano and try to factor in the differences in goals scored by top teams by computing an expected goals value for top teams of each league in the respective time frame.
Since this comparison will be only about goal scoring, we’ll take the four year period in which Cristiano had the best minutes per goal ratio. This will not about “what-ifs” or possible future scenarios or something like that – just what the players actually did. I chose minutes per goal as a metric since it perfectly depicts the goal threat a player depicts when he’s actually on the pitch. Peak instead of longevity since it is no discussion who wins in the latter. So, what was CR7’s best time, then?

This is in fact the period from 11/12 to 14/15 during which he scored every 82.7 minutes across all competitions. Worth mentioning, however, that you could also take 12 – 16 (83.4 minutes), 13-17 (83.4 minutes), 10-14 (85.8 minutes) or 14-18 (84.5 minutes) which is a testament to CR’s consistency.

Pre-injury Ronaldo averaged a goal every 97.30 minutes in the period from 94 to 98. However, it is worth mentioning that his numbers went downhill enormously when he joined Inter and the Serie A. Before his move to Italy, Ronaldo had scored every 88.79 minutes, yet in Serie A this ratio dropped to a goal every 122 minutes.

This can be explained with the competitiveness and defensive prowess of the Serie A in the 90s. In 97/98, the three teams with the most scored goals in Italy were Juve (67), Rome (67) and Florenz (65) – that’s an average of 66 goals. To provide some context, in 96/97, the top 3 were even worse with Sampdoria (60), Lazio (54) and Juventus (51). Juve managed to win the Serie A with 51 goals. In the following season, top teams performed slightly better with Roma (69), Lazio (65) and Milan/Inter (both 59) being the teams with the most goals. If we factor in these results in order to get a bigger sample, the average goal expectation for an (offensive) top team of Serie A was at 61,6.

In contrast, Real Madrid scored 121, 103, 104 and 118 goals in the considered time period from 2011 to 2015 (111,5 goals on average). The one comparable team in the league, Barcelona, scored 114, 115, 100 and 110 goals in the same time frame (109,75 goals on average). This means, as a top team in La Liga you were expected to roughly score 79,5% (!) more goals than a top team in Serie A during R9’s prime.

Using the same “model” on the La Liga seasons 95/96, 96/97 and 97/98, we get a goal expectation value of 79,4. Worth mentioning at this point that the only time a team scored more than 100 goals in that sample was when Ronaldo played for Barcelona. In general, you can say that La Liga top teams in CR7’s time are expected to score 39% more goals than in R9’s time. At this point, some may ask why I chose to use the average of the three best teams in R9’s period but only the two best in CR7’s. This is because in the 90s, the differences weren’t that clear. Madrid and Barca regularly ended up outside of the top 3 and their goals scored and total points were a lot closer to the rest of the bunch. During Cristiano’s time in Spain, the difference between Barca and Real on the one side and every other team in terms of offensive prowess is so gigantic that it wouldn’t make sense to factor in more than these two squads.

Some will now argue that this is actually because of the “Cristiano/Messi effect”. Arguably, their teams reached those crazy numbers solely because these two players played for them. In order to judge this, we can take a look at Cristiano’s and Ronaldo’s share of team goals. From 2011/12 to 2014/15, Cristiano contributed 33,9% of Real Madrid’s. Ronaldo from 94/95 to 97/98 contributed 30,63%. However, he missed half a season of football back then since he only played 1365 minutes in 95/96 (during which he still managed to contribute roughly 15% of PSV’s goal output of the whole season). If you take this season out of the equation, you reach an average contribution of 36.77%. For the Inter squad of 97/98, he even contributed 40% of their total goals. That’s slightly better than Cristiano’s best result of roughly 38% for Madrid in 14/15. Since these stats indicate that CR’s and R9’s importance for their teams is almost identical in terms of goal scoring, this argument can therefore be neglected. If anything, R9’s is slightly ahead.


So, how can we interpret these numbers?

Now, if one considers the goal inflation effect as well as the goal deflation in Serie A and adjust Ronaldo’s goal records accordingly, he ends up with 77.93 minutes per goal in the period from 94-98 which would be better than Cristiano's. This stat should of course be considered with a grain of salt but it highlights how ridiculously good Ronaldo’s goal scoring numbers were at a time when top teams scored far less goals than today – far better than interpreting his record in modern context suggests.

However, this quick analysis obviously still has many weaknesses. For one, it is true that Cristiano’s and Messi’s goal record is far ahead of anyone else in their time (didn’t have the motivation to do a similar comparison between R9 and other strikers of his era) and their peers struggled to put up comparable numbers even for a single season.
However, on the other hand Messi and CR7 were the centers of arguably the two best teams in the world which additionally played in a league in which they were several levels above everyone not named Atletico (which was only one level below them) - that was never true in the same way for R9. At the very least Suarez’ goal record in his best Barca season, Salah’s for Liverpool in 2017/18 or Mbappe’s and Neymar’s currently for PSG shows that other players can come close to it if they are the main target in a team that can dominate other teams through overarching quality. Apart from that, only R9's league goals in Spain and Italy have been adjusted to the expected goal values. If you wanted to be completely precise, you'd also had to consider factors for CL campaigns and other competitions which could possibly tilt the balance in favour of Cristiano again.
Additionally, minutes per goal in general does not factor in that Cristiano’s resistance to injuries is definitely worth considering. Even if his “goal density” does not beat Ronaldo’s you can still say that his consistency allows him to be on the pitch for more minutes throughout a season and thus score more goals. Yet, the Brazilian also never really played for a team as streamlined and “grown” as CR7’s Real Madrid. Instead, Ronaldo in his prime never spent more than one or two years at the same club, scoring insane amounts of goals from the very first day without any need for settling or adjusting. Nobody can really say how he would have profited from the automatisms and mutual understanding which teams profit from that grew together throughout multiple years.

Anyway, in general I think that R9's goal output if interpreted with the respective circumstances and context of his time in mind are much more impressive than at the first glance.
A very long analysis, only thing you fail to mention is from 94-98 (total 179 goals), he scored over half of goals from Brazil and Dutch league from 94-96 (total 98 goals), where lots of average players have similar stats there, so I am not sure you can take those years in poor league seriously. His truly insane year was in Barca 96-97 (47 goals), and Inter 97-98 (34 goals). But still, in his only 2 best peak years, Bierhoff still out-scored him in the league in one of them. This tells you how short his peak was, at least in terms of scoring goals (his performances was clearly above everyone else during his peak though). Suarez, who has one insane year (59 goals), and several other great years (30+ goals), would be more comparable to Ronaldo in this regards.
 

KirkDuyt

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Do you lot watch football with a fecking stat sheet in hand too? No matter how many essays are written in these threads no one will ever acknowledge anything, because everyone cherry picks and moves goal posts constantly.

Ironically at least 50% of most posts consists ppof calling each other biased cnuts, fanboys and stat distorters. Is this irony truly lost on the more fervent participants of these threads I wonder?
 

Cal?

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A very long analysis, only thing you fail to mention is from 94-98 (total 179 goals), he scored over half of goals from Brazil and Dutch league from 94-96 (total 98 goals), where lots of average players have similar stats there, so I am not sure you can take those years in poor league seriously. His truly insane year was in Barca 96-97 (47 goals), and Inter 97-98 (34 goals). But still, in his only 2 best peak years, Bierhoff still out-scored him in the league in one of them. This tells you how short his peak was, at least in terms of scoring goals (his performances was clearly above everyone else during his peak though). Suarez, who has one insane year (59 goals), and several other great years (30+ goals), would be more comparable to Ronaldo in this regards.
Exactly, I was going to make the same point about the Dutch league when I was reading through the article.
 

Deleted member 101472

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17 pages is a good return for this discussion, worthy of Luis Ronaldo.

But lets be honest here, theres a big difference between "preferring" someone and genuinely believing they are better and by whichever metric you want to compare them, Cristiano is quite clearly the better player. Unless Messi wins another couple of champions leagues and ballon d'ors, in twenty years theres going to be a unanimous agreement that cristiano is the best player ever. And if he wins the CL with juve, the arguments over IMO.
 

Eric's Seagull

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Here is a quote which I find interesting from Zico about Luis Ronaldo
"He was one of the best players I've ever seen. I've never seen anyone with better movement. I would have liked to have played with him because he could have scored 2000 goals. I'd have given him the ball every time."
ZICO
 

Skorenzy

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Well it is for the top strikers at the top clubs.
  • La Liga - 30 goals breached by the top scorer every year during the last decade by 4 players (Forlan, Messi, Ronaldo, Suarez). Only Sanchez and Ronaldo had done it previously in the last 70 years.
  • Serie A - single season record of 36 goals set in 2015/16 by Higuain. 7 times in the last 9 years the top scorer has netted 28 or more, and before Toni in 2005/06 nobody in Serie A had scored 28 or more in a season since the 1950s.
  • Ligue Un - Ibra's 38 goals in 2015/16 the highest in 45 years. Along with Cavani in 2016/17 the only men to break 30 goals in 40 years.
  • Bundesliga - Aubameyang's 31 goals in 2016/17 the highest in over 40 years. 29 goals has been broken in each of the last 3 years, yet has only been matched once since 1981 before that.
So we have trends of:
  • 2/70 going to 10/10
  • 0/50 going to 7/9
  • 0/38 going to 2/3
  • 0/36 going to 3/3
Statistically, it is compellingly clear that the top strikers in major European leagues have found it much easier to score goals in the last decade than in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s.
For various reasons such as the gulf between the best clubs and the rest being wider, the game becoming more friendly for attackers both through more favourable refereeing, rules and a more supportive environment (pitches, balls, boots).
Romário hit 30 for the Dream Team. Pizzi at Tenerife scored over 30 somewhere in the mid-90s (to be fair that was back when there were 22 teams I believe).
In the 80s: Toni Polster for Sevilla scored 33 in 35 games and Baltazar at Atléti hit 35 goals in 36 games. (and Hugo Sánchez scored over 30 twice).
The 60s and 70s mirror Serie A in the absolute dearth of goals.
Then the prolific 40s & 50s which are after your cutoff point had Zarra, Di Stéfano and a couple of others.

Also the same season 08/09 that Forlán won Pichichi with 32 goals, Eto'o scored 30 in the league.
 

Bogdannn

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Okay, here we go:

Comparing between different eras is difficult. Many in here argued that Cristiano’s goal record is far superior to R9’s, even during his prime. And while this is factually true, those who prefer the Brazilian’s peak argued that you cannot compare these numbers due to the goal inflation that took place in La Liga as well as an incredible goal deflation that happened in the Serie A dring the 90s. A certain user also argued that it was unfair to compare Cristiano’s long lasting peak with Ronaldo’s short flash of genius. So what I’ll do is, I’ll consider prime R9 (94-98) and compare him to prime Cristiano and try to factor in the differences in goals scored by top teams by computing an expected goals value for top teams of each league in the respective time frame.
Since this comparison will be only about goal scoring, we’ll take the four year period in which Cristiano had the best minutes per goal ratio. This will not about “what-ifs” or possible future scenarios or something like that – just what the players actually did. I chose minutes per goal as a metric since it perfectly depicts the goal threat a player depicts when he’s actually on the pitch. Peak instead of longevity since it is no discussion who wins in the latter. So, what was CR7’s best time, then?

This is in fact the period from 11/12 to 14/15 during which he scored every 82.7 minutes across all competitions. Worth mentioning, however, that you could also take 12 – 16 (83.4 minutes), 13-17 (83.4 minutes), 10-14 (85.8 minutes) or 14-18 (84.5 minutes) which is a testament to CR’s consistency.

Pre-injury Ronaldo averaged a goal every 97.30 minutes in the period from 94 to 98. However, it is worth mentioning that his numbers went downhill enormously when he joined Inter and the Serie A. Before his move to Italy, Ronaldo had scored every 88.79 minutes, yet in Serie A this ratio dropped to a goal every 122 minutes.

This can be explained with the competitiveness and defensive prowess of the Serie A in the 90s. In 97/98, the three teams with the most scored goals in Italy were Juve (67), Rome (67) and Florenz (65) – that’s an average of 66 goals. To provide some context, in 96/97, the top 3 were even worse with Sampdoria (60), Lazio (54) and Juventus (51). Juve managed to win the Serie A with 51 goals. In the following season, top teams performed slightly better with Roma (69), Lazio (65) and Milan/Inter (both 59) being the teams with the most goals. If we factor in these results in order to get a bigger sample, the average goal expectation for an (offensive) top team of Serie A was at 61,6.

In contrast, Real Madrid scored 121, 103, 104 and 118 goals in the considered time period from 2011 to 2015 (111,5 goals on average). The one comparable team in the league, Barcelona, scored 114, 115, 100 and 110 goals in the same time frame (109,75 goals on average). This means, as a top team in La Liga you were expected to roughly score 79,5% (!) more goals than a top team in Serie A during R9’s prime.

Using the same “model” on the La Liga seasons 95/96, 96/97 and 97/98, we get a goal expectation value of 79,4. Worth mentioning at this point that the only time a team scored more than 100 goals in that sample was when Ronaldo played for Barcelona. In general, you can say that La Liga top teams in CR7’s time are expected to score 39% more goals than in R9’s time. At this point, some may ask why I chose to use the average of the three best teams in R9’s period but only the two best in CR7’s. This is because in the 90s, the differences weren’t that clear. Madrid and Barca regularly ended up outside of the top 3 and their goals scored and total points were a lot closer to the rest of the bunch. During Cristiano’s time in Spain, the difference between Barca and Real on the one side and every other team in terms of offensive prowess is so gigantic that it wouldn’t make sense to factor in more than these two squads.

Some will now argue that this is actually because of the “Cristiano/Messi effect”. Arguably, their teams reached those crazy numbers solely because these two players played for them. In order to judge this, we can take a look at Cristiano’s and Ronaldo’s share of team goals. From 2011/12 to 2014/15, Cristiano contributed 33,9% of Real Madrid’s. Ronaldo from 94/95 to 97/98 contributed 30,63%. However, he missed half a season of football back then since he only played 1365 minutes in 95/96 (during which he still managed to contribute roughly 15% of PSV’s goal output of the whole season). If you take this season out of the equation, you reach an average contribution of 36.77%. For the Inter squad of 97/98, he even contributed 40% of their total goals. That’s slightly better than Cristiano’s best result of roughly 38% for Madrid in 14/15. Since these stats indicate that CR’s and R9’s importance for their teams is almost identical in terms of goal scoring, this argument can therefore be neglected. If anything, R9’s is slightly ahead.


So, how can we interpret these numbers?

Now, if one considers the goal inflation effect as well as the goal deflation in Serie A and adjust Ronaldo’s goal records accordingly, he ends up with 77.93 minutes per goal in the period from 94-98 which would be better than Cristiano's. This stat should of course be considered with a grain of salt but it highlights how ridiculously good Ronaldo’s goal scoring numbers were at a time when top teams scored far less goals than today – far better than interpreting his record in modern context suggests.

However, this quick analysis obviously still has many weaknesses. For one, it is true that Cristiano’s and Messi’s goal record is far ahead of anyone else in their time (didn’t have the motivation to do a similar comparison between R9 and other strikers of his era) and their peers struggled to put up comparable numbers even for a single season.
However, on the other hand Messi and CR7 were the centers of arguably the two best teams in the world which additionally played in a league in which they were several levels above everyone not named Atletico (which was only one level below them) - that was never true in the same way for R9. At the very least Suarez’ goal record in his best Barca season, Salah’s for Liverpool in 2017/18 or Mbappe’s and Neymar’s currently for PSG shows that other players can come close to it if they are the main target in a team that can dominate other teams through overarching quality. Apart from that, only R9's league goals in Spain and Italy have been adjusted to the expected goal values. If you wanted to be completely precise, you'd also had to consider factors for CL campaigns and other competitions which could possibly tilt the balance in favour of Cristiano again.
Additionally, minutes per goal in general does not factor in that Cristiano’s resistance to injuries is definitely worth considering. Even if his “goal density” does not beat Ronaldo’s you can still say that his consistency allows him to be on the pitch for more minutes throughout a season and thus score more goals. Yet, the Brazilian also never really played for a team as streamlined and “grown” as CR7’s Real Madrid. Instead, Ronaldo in his prime never spent more than one or two years at the same club, scoring insane amounts of goals from the very first day without any need for settling or adjusting. Nobody can really say how he would have profited from the automatisms and mutual understanding which teams profit from that grew together throughout multiple years.

Anyway, in general I think that R9's goal output if interpreted with the respective circumstances and context of his time in mind are much more impressive than at the first glance.
BEST POST in the HISTORY of this forum. I'd like to add just one more thing to your analysis: Messi and CR7 have racked up those numbers while benefiting from several huge advantages:
- the teams they play in are stacked. By comparison, R9's teammates in the 1997-98 season are a poor joke;
- the rules of the game and the refs nowadays protect offensive players more than ever;
- modern defenders are nowhere near as skilled as those in the 90's and they are also hampered by the rules in terms of defending, meaning they can't hack off their opponents legs like they could do in the past;
- advancements in training, recovery and nutrition means that tops players are less injury prone than in the past.

Put a prime R9 in the 2009-2013 Barca team and he'd score 100 goals a season.
 

Rozay

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R9 and Messi are the best players I’ve ever seen kick a football. It took a long while for me to accept that it’s actually become ridiculous to say another football player was/is ‘better’ than Messi - but before that point, R9 was the best ever for me for sure.
 

Adnan

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Cristiano is better if you can't look beyond the spreadsheet.

But for me R9 was easily the more talented footballer. To have such searing pace and technical ability was jaw dropping at times. Some of the skills he pulled of in full flight were an absolute joy to behold. The only time I've actually been scared when watching United against any single player was against R9. R9 was simply more skilful and a better dribbler in comparison. Some of the moves he could pull off in full flight was just alien and I haven't seen a player come close (maybe Ronaldinho) to replicating the joys he brought to a neutral like myself.
 

Bogdannn

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R9 and Messi are the best players I’ve ever seen kick a football. It took a long while for me to accept that it’s actually become ridiculous to say another football player was/is ‘better’ than Messi - but before that point, R9 was the best ever for me for sure.
Both lack the World Cup, therefore neither can ever lay claim to the GOAT title.
They are not even the best in terms of peak form.

Ronaldo is better. Full stop.
Well said.

Cristiano is better if you can't look beyond the spreadsheet.

But for me R9 was easily the more talented footballer. To have such searing pace and technical ability was jaw dropping at times. Some of the skills he pulled of in full flight were an absolute joy to behold. The only time I've actually been scared when watching United against any single player was against R9. R9 was simply more skilful and a better dribbler in comparison. Some of the moves he could pull off in full flight was just alien and I haven't seen a player come close (maybe Ronaldinho) to replicating the joys he brought to a neutral like myself.
Well said.

CR7 wins both
No he doesn't.
 

RedRonaldo

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In FIFA terms, I’d give rating of around 93-97 for CR7 over majority of his career (for over a decade) and L.Ronaldo a 95 during his 2 years peak, and 84-89 over majority of his career.

L.Ronaldo most insane years are in Barca and Inter, where he has not won a lot, or even outscored by Bierhoff. His most successful years are during golden age of Brazil WC all conquering era, and mostly thanks to the help of worldclass performance from his worldclass teammates (Rivaldo, Ronaldinho, Carlos, Cafu etc, you know, those name most would put into their all star team of decade)

He was abit overrated mostly because of how promising he looks during his teenage/younger years (before injury), scored a few insane solo goals in Spain, and on one occasion scored 47 goals in a season (equivalent to CR7 7th best season) which is very impressive at that time. But he only managed to win 2 UEFA Cup (who cares, we win it with Pogba under Mourinho too) and 1 Copa del Ray (Spain is only 3rd best league in the world at that time) during his peak years, not exactly the highest quality competition to prove yourself.
 
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Brwned

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People downgrading each of those two players achievements just so it suits their narrative are just weird imo.
Yep. Weird way to enjoy a game.

I much prefer the Brazilian's style of play but there's surely no question who had the better career by now. Who was better at their best can be argued either way based on personal preference. Thinking your way of evaluating football is the right way is just silly, and spending so much time supporting a person you'll never know is just sad. Those kinds of discussions are a tragic waste of time and a signal of something troubling
 

Zehner

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In FIFA terms, I’d give rating of around 93-97 for CR7 over majority of his career (for over a decade) and L.Ronaldo a 95 during his 2 years peak, and 84-89 over majority of his career.

L.Ronaldo most insane years are in Barca and Inter, where he has not won a lot, or even outscored by Bierhoff. His most successful years are during golden age of Brazil WC all conquering era, and mostly thanks to the help of worldclass performance from his worldclass teammates (Rivaldo, Ronaldinho, Carlos, Cafu etc, you know, those name most would put into their all star team of decade)

He was abit overrated mostly because of how promising he looks during his teenage/younger years (before injury), scored a few insane solo goals in Spain, and on one occasion scored 47 goals in a season (equivalent to CR7 7th best season) which is very impressive at that time. But he only managed to win 2 UEFA Cup (who cares, we win it with Pogba under Mourinho too) and 1 Copa del Ray (Spain is only 3rd best league in the world at that time) during his peak years, not exactly the highest quality competition to prove yourself.
Another proof that trophies are a terrible, terrible metric to judge the individual quality of a player. That the goal record of Cristiano and Messi was inflated was already proven by stats, especially in comparison to the Serie A in the 90s when teams simply scored far less goals.

Ronaldo was a force of nature in his prime, in terms of raw ability even above Messi. Cristiano's prime IMO is just below that, on par with players like Cruyff. CR7 has longevity going for him, but his peak years weren't that much either and also not as jaw droppibg as Ronaldo's.
 

SadlerMUFC

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I still remember when we used to disginguish the two by calling the Brazilian "the real Ronaldo". Now we distinguish them by calling him "the fat Ronaldo". My how times have changed. Either way, as great as Ronaldo was, CR7 has had a better career and a better peak. The only thing Ronaldo has on CR7 is the world cup. But to put things in persepective, Ronaldo's best year saw him score 47 goals. CR7 on the other hand, between 2010/11 and 2017/18 scored 53, 60, 55, 51, 61, 61, 44 and 42 goals. In their careers Ronaldo has scored a total of 352 goals in 518 appearances. CR7 has 602 goals in 808 appearances. And let's not forget that one has played his entire career as a striker while the other played most of his career as a winger. Sorry folks, I loved Ronaldo, but it's not even close...
 

Siorac

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Another proof that trophies are a terrible, terrible metric to judge the individual quality of a player. That the goal record of Cristiano and Messi was inflated was already proven by stats, especially in comparison to the Serie A in the 90s when teams simply scored far less goals.

Ronaldo was a force of nature in his prime, in terms of raw ability even above Messi. Cristiano's prime IMO is just below that, on par with players like Cruyff. CR7 has longevity going for him, but his peak years weren't that much either and also not as jaw droppibg as Ronaldo's.
This is an easily verifiable claim and unfortunately it simply doesn't stand up to scrutiny.

Ronaldo's two full seasons in Serie A were 1997/98 and 1998/99 - I think we can agree it's pointless to look at the other three when he barely played. Both seasons had 2.76 goals per game on average.

Here's a chart for goals per game in La Liga between 2007 and 2019. From this, 2007/08 may be safely discounted, as Ronaldo was in the Premier League at that point while Messi did not have a ridiculous goalscoring season so even if his stats were "inflated", it doesn't matter that much, he scored 16 in 40, nothing spectacular. From 2008/09 onwards - and note that including even 08/09 is a bit misleading as Cristiano Ronaldo was still playing in the Premier League that season -, there were only two seasons in which the average goals per game was higher than in those Serie A seasons.


So no, teams didn't score "far less" goals in Serie A around that time. The league has a reputation for being defensively strong but goal numbers didn't really reflect that by that time. In the 80s and early 90s, sure, but after that period, goal averages quickly climbed up to around the same level as that of other leagues.
 

Rozay

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Both lack the World Cup, therefore neither can ever lay claim to the GOAT title.
They are not even the best in terms of peak form.


Well said.


Well said.


No he doesn't.
Not that I give a shit about collective awards when assessing individual players anyway but, both lack what? Not sure you know what you’re talking about, as this couldn’t be more factually incorrect.
 

gulli_G

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For me R9 is better, injuries hampered him, but he still had a great run, he ripped world class defenders (including some greats) to shreds regularly in Italy, could do it all, in all attacking positions. Career wise, CR7.
 

SirAF

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I still remember when we used to disginguish the two by calling the Brazilian "the real Ronaldo". Now we distinguish them by calling him "the fat Ronaldo". My how times have changed. Either way, as great as Ronaldo was, CR7 has had a better career and a better peak. The only thing Ronaldo has on CR7 is the world cup. But to put things in persepective, Ronaldo's best year saw him score 47 goals. CR7 on the other hand, between 2010/11 and 2017/18 scored 53, 60, 55, 51, 61, 61, 44 and 42 goals. In their careers Ronaldo has scored a total of 352 goals in 518 appearances. CR7 has 602 goals in 808 appearances. And let's not forget that one has played his entire career as a striker while the other played most of his career as a winger. Sorry folks, I loved Ronaldo, but it's not even close...
This.
 

RedRonaldo

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Another proof that trophies are a terrible, terrible metric to judge the individual quality of a player. That the goal record of Cristiano and Messi was inflated was already proven by stats, especially in comparison to the Serie A in the 90s when teams simply scored far less goals.

Ronaldo was a force of nature in his prime, in terms of raw ability even above Messi. Cristiano's prime IMO is just below that, on par with players like Cruyff. CR7 has longevity going for him, but his peak years weren't that much either and also not as jaw droppibg as Ronaldo's.
Disagree with that. I have argue many times Cristiano at his physical/performance peak during 2011-2013 was more jaw dropping than L.Ronaldo ever display. You may disagree otherwise, mostly due to the fact that Cristiano has been around for so long, most would have forgotten how his actual peak was like. L.Ronaldo peak is overrated due to the perception of his “potential” and “could have been” factor. Yes he was totally insane and unplayable at some point, but not as insane/unplayable as Cristiano at his absolutely peak (in terms of pace, runs, strength, athleticism, skills, dribble, tricks, long shot, finish, header, free kicks, goals, movement, determination, leadership etc all combined in one)
 
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giorno

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Ronaldo was the best 18, 19, 20, 21 and 22 years old player i have ever seen, by a very wide margin at that
 

Tom Cato

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Christiano Ronaldo is better than R9 at every aspect of the game, they are not in the same hemisphere to begin with.

And that is saying something because R9 is a legend in his own right.
 

Gio

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This is an easily verifiable claim and unfortunately it simply doesn't stand up to scrutiny.

Ronaldo's two full seasons in Serie A were 1997/98 and 1998/99 - I think we can agree it's pointless to look at the other three when he barely played. Both seasons had 2.76 goals per game on average.

Here's a chart for goals per game in La Liga between 2007 and 2019. From this, 2007/08 may be safely discounted, as Ronaldo was in the Premier League at that point while Messi did not have a ridiculous goalscoring season so even if his stats were "inflated", it doesn't matter that much, he scored 16 in 40, nothing spectacular. From 2008/09 onwards - and note that including even 08/09 is a bit misleading as Cristiano Ronaldo was still playing in the Premier League that season -, there were only two seasons in which the average goals per game was higher than in those Serie A seasons.


So no, teams didn't score "far less" goals in Serie A around that time. The league has a reputation for being defensively strong but goal numbers didn't really reflect that by that time. In the 80s and early 90s, sure, but after that period, goal averages quickly climbed up to around the same level as that of other leagues.
That's true - average goals per game haven't really changed much in the last 20 years. @Zehner's post above that though shows the main difference is the competitiveness between teams within leagues has changed hugely, which is why the various posts comparing goal records without this context are a waste of time.
 

Siorac

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That's true - average goals per game haven't really changed much in the last 20 years. @Zehner's post above that though shows the main difference is the competitiveness between teams within leagues has changed hugely, which is why the various posts comparing goal records without this context are a waste of time.
Fair enough but blanket statements such as "teams scored fewer goals in Serie A than in La Liga" are also a waste of time.
 

Spaghetti

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I saw Ronaldo at Wembley in ‘95 and I think he was 18. He was the complete player, mature and powerful, ready to play at the top level. At the same age, Cristiano showed flashes of brilliance but was far from the finished article.

However, Cristiano’s peak and career are, in my opinion, a league above Luis Ronaldo. Both were (are) incredible players, but it’s not fair to compare players to Cristiano. Unless their name is Lionel, Cristiano wins easily.