The glorious contradiction that is Cristiano Ronaldo

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You’re so vain, you probably think this list is about you. Well, it is, in a way.

Cristiano Ronaldo wants to be the best. He thinks he is the best. Although the majority of observers place Lionel Messi above the Portuguese in the pantheon of brilliance, there is a compelling case for putting Ronaldo on top of the pile.

The 34-year-old is the ultimate big-game player. He wants the ball and soaks up responsibility.

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So how is that different from Messi? The Argentinian is the centrepiece of a team. He can win a match on his own but often it is simpler to pass to a colleague in space or embark on a decoy run to open up opportunities for others. Messi has a generosity of spirit that enhances his genius.

Ronaldo would rather do it alone. He hogs the ball and the spotlight. It is not just about winning and losing: victory has a slightly sour tinge when credit for the success goes elsewhere. It is not a team game for Ronaldo

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