3/28/2013 07:00:00 am

'It's unlikely' - Is Ian Rush right with this claim about Messi & Ronaldo...?

Over the last few years, La Liga stars Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have proven themselves to be relentless goalscoring machines for their respective teams, but Liverpool legend Ian Rush insists that neither player would score as many goals in the Premier League.

Discussing this season's race for the Golden Boot, Rush - who became the first British player to win the award in 1983-84 - told the official LFC site that Luis Suarez would need a huge amount of luck to win this season, and insisted that there are only two players in the running:

"Obviously Lionel Messi and Ronaldo are on a different planet when it comes to the number of goals they score each season but it would be unlikely they'd be scoring as many in the Premier League."

Is that true? Would Messi and Ronaldo score fewer goals in the Premier League? At Man United, Ronaldo scored regularly, but the 2007-8 season aside, he league goalscoring record doesn't compare with his achievements at Madrid.

* 2005-6: 9 goals in 33 apps
* 2006-7: 17 goals in 34 apps
* 2007-8: 31 goals in 34 games
* 2008-9: 18 goals in 33 apps

Since arriving at Madrid, Ronaldo's goalscoring has reached ridiculous heights:

2009-10: 26 goals in 29 apps
2010-11: 40 goals in 34 apps
2011-12: 46 goals in 38 apps
2012-13: 27 goals in 27 apps (so far)

Broadly speaking, the stats seem to suggest that scoring goals in La Liga is easier than scoring in the Premier League. Messi has spent his entire career at Barcelona, and unlike Ronaldo, he's untested in a different league.

At Barca, Messi plays with some of the greatest players in the world, and with so many good players for the opposition to worry about, Messi inevitably gets space to do his thing, but would he be as effective in the hyper-paced rough and tumble of the Premier League?

Ronaldo's experience in two different leagues arguably gives him the edge over Messi, and if both players moved to the Premier League, I think Ronaldo would outscore the Argentinian.

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Nitesh Sharawat said...

Im not a ronaldo fan but i agree he would outscore messi in PL. At international level also messi is a underperformer coz he doesnt have support like xavi,iniesta..but ronaldo carry portugal all on himself.
I think now suarez is as good as messi and ronaldo by seeing his goal scoring record this year.

Eric said...

Scoring in La Liga is easier because they play a different type of game there. Thug teams like Stoke wouldn't finish one match with all eleven players still on the pitch. In England, the smaller clubs play not to concede whereas in Spain, as well as in Holland, they play to score no matter how big or small a club they are.

rubyrm said...

How many of those goals he scored from the spot after diving for Manure.? Messi is still class.

Nitesh Sharawat said...

u can see messi's international goal's tally (30 odd goals from 80 odd matches) while suarez has put up a very good performances than messi at international level and got 31 goals from 62 matches and won coppa america cup for his team in 2011..WAY BETTER THAN MESSI...

Jason Carr said...

there are big differences between the players the main one is suarez dose,nt take pens and lfc do not get as many pens as the spanish clubs,suarez would do extremely well at a top club in spaqin just hope he carry,s on doing extremely well for a average club in england(at the moment)the fact suarez even gets a mention with these two players just go,s to show how good he is

rowanb said...

i dare to say that Luis is a more valuable asset in world football(as in he could play in any league and score) than either of those 2. he's more robust, less of a ponce and more dogged.
he may not have the same skill set as either, but hes as dangerous as either.
suarez in a top side would be a frightening proposition.

basically, we have one more season to keep that rough diamond.

rowanb said...

id put suarez in the top 5 players int the world right now. who could have possibly imagined we could have not only replaced the fading torres with an even better player. had that not happened , we really would be mid/low table.

john3454 said...

yeah lets be fair Messi has really struggled to score against the likes of Arsenal & Utd. uuhhh wait !!!!! Thats just a unprovable nonsense blinkered snobby prem fans spout out to make themselves feel better about the league. How many PL sides left in the CL? How many Spanish sides? How did Bilbao do v Utd last season ? What about Atletico v Chelsea this season? Messi gets 4 v Arsenal & destroys Utd twice so why would he struggle against lower prem teams? Ronaldo has already scored loads in 1/2 seasons in the prem.. Instead of lookin for ways to knock Messi / Ronaldo, why not just appreciate them and appreciate other leagues too. Suarez is similar to Messi in style but not as good and look how well he is doing. Did he score v Stoke?? Anyone who thinks Messi wouldnt be able to score v Stoke is simple. He would have a field day running rings around them and he is well used to been kicked around the place. That doesnt faze Messi, he just keeps getting up and eventually scores. Unreal player.

ME said...

I don't think Ronaldo can outscore messi even in PL at present and AC Milan is a team with better defenders than Stoke and italians are the master tacticians when it comes to football even then Messi scored twice against them in the last leg in champions league.Therefore, I think your argument that messi wouldn't be able to score against Stoke is invalid

nX3lemZ said...

Cant believe u opened this can of worms jaimie. No conclusion can be reached here guys, the only thing that can be said as 'FACT' is that Messi is the best player in the world and does things no other player has ever done before.

How he would fair in the premier league who can know for certain? Besides Messi might not be physically strong but his got outstanding balance, defenders just cant get the ball from him.

I think Messi would be the best player in any league he goes to. Having said that id still take Ronaldo in my team.

nX3lemZ said...

Exactly ME, this talk of messi struggling against defensive teams or rough stoke like teams is nonsense for me aswell. Messi would messi in any league!

john3454 said...

Michu has 15gls in 28, he got 15 in 37 for a tiny club in Spain. Torres scored 24gls in 33gmes in his first PL season. His best was 19gls in 35gmes in La Liga. Kone got 15gls for Levante and is already on 11 for Wigan. Ronaldo has previously done it in the prem. Mata is averaging approx 1gl in 3games, the same as he did for Valencia and his is a small player. Small Sergio Aguero got 23gls in 34gmes in his first season at Citeh and his best ever goal scoring season. De Guzman has 5 already this season, His best season in La Liga was 5gls. Tiny Santi Cazorla has 11 gls in 29games , his best seasons goals tally before was 9 in 38gmes. How do you explain that? There is no set formula for how a player will do from one league to the other. Its a nonsense to claim someone wouldnt score as much. You just dont know that and you cannot predict it. All you can say is that the better the player is, the better he will probably do. Messi is the best player of his generation and up there with the best ever. What he is doing is sensational. No one else finishes as lethally as him or like him. The way he consistently chips the keepers and embarrasses them is ridiculous. He would destroy teams in the prem just like he destroyed Arsenal(4 goals) and Utd(twice) in the CL. To think he would struggle in the prem is wishful thinking and to suggest Suarez is better is pure fantasy. I love Suarez as a player but he has a fair bit to go yet before he is on Messi's or even Ronaldos level but he has the potential to be close to them (well to Ronaldo).. For now though, as football fans, we should just appreciate what incredible things Messi and Ronaldo are doing as its truly sensation and we havent seen goal scoring like this for decades.

john3454 said...

Messi is consistently Argentinas best player so that's a nonsense. 25yra old, 4th all time top scorer and lots of assists... 12 goals in 9 appearances for Argentina last year & joint 2nd in the WC qual goal scorin charts... and all without Xavi and Iniesta !!!!!!

emma said...

its very simple,check the number of goals scored in the EPL to that score in LA LIGA and see where goal scoring is easy. If it is even that easy in La Liga why are only two players scoring all the goals and not every striker?

Joshua Gresham said...

Its a hard one to determine. I honestly believe Ronaldo has reached a new level since signing for Madrid. He's a better player now, playing in a freer role in La Liga than he was when he played for United so that, IMO, has something to do with it. I think Ronaldo would outscore Messi in the PL due to his experience and physicality but they would both probably still be the top 2 scorers in the league. Suarez has been immense this season though and If he was playing for either Barca or Madrid as their main goal scorer he could easily be over 30 league goals by now. Honestly though there really isnt a conclusive way to measure which league is easier to score in.

Joshua Gresham said...

Good points but Torres stepped up his game playing for Liverpool. He was, for a time, the best striker in the world when playing for us. He was not the best striker in the world when he played in La Liga so his goal scoring record cant really be compared. He has scored what like 9 goals this season for Chelsea? Thats 10 less than his best for Atletico so that stat points to the PL being tougher ;). Basically my point is the stats alone are highly inconclusive. Players improve and adapt to each league and as they play for different teams, possibly in slightly different positions, we cant compare their goal scoring states across leagues accurately. I suppose we could always ask Ronaldo which league is harder.

john3454 said...

Thats nonsense. So you discount Torres coz you think the one season after he left Atletico for 25mill that he suddenly became amazingly better. Rubbish.. He was always considered class in La Liga hence the eh 25million price tag.. lol you dont pay 25mill for a average player (Carroll excluded). Lets ask Cazorla which league is easier to score in or we can compare the leagues by looking at how they are doing in the CL !! Its a stupid argument to be honest -both leagues are class- and one that is used by people who, for some weird reason, want to discredit Messi instead of just appreciating he is around. Same kindve people would be lookin for ways to slate Pele or Best or Maradona in their day. The kindve people who believe in conspiracy theories and sign up to pyramid schemes !! Muppets.

David88 said...

Messi top scorer in champions League 4 years running,4 goals V arsenal at 22, 1 v United in each final and v one of the roughest teams Madrid he has 18 goals and 11 assists in 25 games.to think he would struggle is laughable, just to point out the fact 0 english teams are left in the knock out phase of the CL.

Dave66 said...

Messi plays an attacking midfield role for them he sets up pretty much everything oh and he has 13 goals in his last 12 games for his country.Please don't insult one of the best ever.

lowey said...

rush is right and messi twice the player Ronaldo is, messi a team player. makes me cringe Ronaldo hogging the ball only to cock up half the time when he should have passed to a team mate

Joshua Gresham said...

I didnt suggest it quite that way but he definitely improved playing for Liverpool than when he was playing in La Liga. He always was class you are right but he got better as he reached his prime. Also partially due to the fact he was playing in a team that perfectly suited his style and helped supply him with the goals. Gerrard and Alonso.... Different teams and more specifically the same player playing for different teams makes it so hard to compare. I wasnt even slightly suggesting the premier league is harder that wasnt my point. I was simply trying to state that you can't look at the stats to point to one league being harder than the other. Also what logic did you manage to find that points to me believing Ronaldo would score even more now in the PL? Hes a better player now yes and hes playing for, arguably, a better team in Madrid but I didnt suggest he would score more now. The point i was trying to make, but perhaps was clear on, was that the fact that he is now a better player is a possible reason as to why he scores more in La Liga than he did in the premier league rather than the fact that he has scored far more goals for Madrid being as a result of the Spanish league being weaker.

john3454 said...

fair enuff , so we're agreed then. Both leagues are hard to score in and its impossible to predict how players would do.

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