El Clasico: Messi and Ronaldo should share the Ballon D'Or
The world's best players light up Barcelona Real Madrid clash with two goals each
LIONEL MESSI and Cristiano Ronaldo, the two best players in the world, went head to head on Sunday night as Barcelona took on Real Madrid in El Clasico and emerged with two goals apiece as the game ended in a 2-2 draw.
The encounter at the Camp Nou was a thrilling affair and a draw was probably the correct result. It is of more use to Barcelona than Real Madrid, who remain eight points behind their perennial rivals in La Liga, but points and placings mattered little during the game.
"El Clasico 2012 started as a match between Barcelona and Real Madrid. It ended as a shootout between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo," comments the Bleacher Report.
Ronaldo opened the scoring in the first half with a low shot, but Messi pounced after a mix-up in the box to make it 1-1. Barcelona took the lead when Messi scored from a free kick in the second half only for Ronaldo to equalise after being put through on goal five minutes later.
Both men now have eight league goals this season and continue to astound - between them they have scored 100 times in 2012. On Sunday Ronaldo became the first man to score in six consecutive Clasico matches. Messi's double means he is now just one goal behind Alfredo Di Stefano's record of 18 Clasico goals.
"The lines across the football landscape are being redrawn by two men who seem to know no frontiers," muses Pete Jenson in The Independent. "You might prefer the bravado of Ronaldo; you might prefer the unassuming Messi, but football wins every time either man takes to the pitch."
You cannot stop the two men from grabbing the headlines, says Sid Lowe in The Guardian. "If Real Madrid versus Barcelona is the greatest sporting rivalry on earth, it has come to be personified in two of the finest footballers there have been, men who define their clubs and this battle."
It had been billed as a face-to-face battle for the title of the world's best player but picking a winner will be difficult. "Maybe they should just make a second golden ball when Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo contest the Ballon D’Or at the end of the year," suggests the Daily Mail.
Goal.com agrees. "There is so little to separate Messi and Ronaldo that these two superhumans almost deserve to share the top prize," it suggests.
"There is no downplaying the influence these footballing demigods have on this fixture," says The Times. "The best players on the planet in the best club game in the world and they simply could not be divided."