Who is the best player in the world? Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo? Look no further because a supercomputer has finally ended the debate about who superstar is better. Both Cristiano and Messi have their fan bases that don’t hesitate to defend their favorite player.
They were also even in Ballon d’Or with five until Messi won his sixth this month. Now, if you wanted to find out who was really the best between the two, don’t worry because this machine has done the job for us.
Sporza report that professors at KU Leuven university and data experts at SciSports have come up with a formula to decide who is the best player. Professor Jesse Davis explained how their system works, saying:
"The value of a soccer player is often determined by goals and assists. A goal is a rare event, however, because an average of 1,600 actions are estimated to occur in a match.
"Our model looks at each action - shots, passes, dribbles, tackles - and calculates its value."
They used data from the two stars from the beginning of the 2013/14 season until Ronaldo left La Liga to join Juventus last year. In the end, the computer decided the Argentinian was the better player.
Messi ended with Valuing Actions by Estimating Probabilities, or VAEP, score of 1.21 per game with Ronaldo scoring just 0.61 per game.
Tom Decroos, a Ph.D. student who was involved in the research, explained:
"In the first seasons, Messi and Ronaldo's scores are very close to each other.
"From the 2015/16 season, Messi has stepped away from his eternal rival.
"We see a trade-off with most football players: either they make a lot of actions with a less high value - that's the case with Paul Pogba, for example.
"Or you have players who are less likely to hit the ball, but who have a big impact. That is typical of strikers like Harry Kane, Mohamed Salah and Ronaldo.
"Messi is exceptional in this area: the Argentinian has a very high number of actions and they also have a high value."
People still will have a favorite player between these two, but it took a supercomputer to see who has the best numbers. That says a lot about the quality of Messi and Ronaldo and all the amazing things they’ve done for the game.