Cristiano Ronaldo v Lionel Messi: Barcelona star dominated while rival struggles to make impact

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Lionel Messi shined yet again as Barcelona beat Alaves 3-0 in their La Liga opener on Saturday


So the new season has started for both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo but it will be the first time in nine years where the great rivals will not face off against each other.

Ronaldo’s sensational £100million move to Juventus marked the end of the pair’s dominance over La Liga, leaving Messi to steal the limelight once again in Spain.

On Saturday, Ronaldo began life at Juventus in Serie A against Chievo. Here, Sportsmail has taken a look at how his performance compared to Messi’s against Alaves in their respective season openers…

Lionel Messi shined yet again as Barcelona beat Alaves 3-0 in their La Liga opener on Saturday

Lionel Messi shined yet again as Barcelona beat Alaves 3-0 in their La Liga opener on Saturday

Cristiano Ronaldo began life at Juventus with a 3-2 victory over Chievo in Serie A

Cristiano Ronaldo began life at Juventus with a 3-2 victory over Chievo in Serie A

Cristiano Ronaldo began life at Juventus with a 3-2 victory over Chievo in Serie A

RONALDO VS CHIEVO (Juventus won 3-2)

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner got off to a victorious start in Serie A with the Old Lady, thanks to a last-gasp winner from Federico Bernardeschi.

Ronaldo may not have got on the scoresheet or assisted on Saturday but there were signs that he will quickly find his feet in Italy despite his underwhelming display in front of goal.

Ronaldo started as the lone striker, with Juan Cuadrado, Paulo Dybala and Douglas Costa sitting behind him, playing balls through to the deadly front man.

In the 64th minute, Ronaldo took up a position on the left flank after Mario Mandzukic entered the frame at the Marc’Antonio Bentegodi.

Ronaldo failed to find his shooting boots as he made his Serie A debut on Saturday

Ronaldo failed to find his shooting boots as he made his Serie A debut on Saturday

Ronaldo failed to find his shooting boots as he made his Serie A debut on Saturday

The Portuguese star saw a free header directed straight at Chievo's Stefano Sorrentino

The Portuguese star saw a free header directed straight at Chievo's Stefano Sorrentino

The Portuguese star saw a free header directed straight at Chievo’s Stefano Sorrentino

During the match, the Portugal international created two chances for his Juventus team-mates and had a total of eight shots – four of which were on target. 

Ronaldo – brought in to help Juventus win the much-desired Champions League – failed to bring his shooting boots on his Serie A debut. His first sighter from the edge of the area was dragged wide and that was followed by an optimistic half-volley from a near-impossible angle.

Ronaldo then saw a free header directed straight at Stefano Sorrentino before the Chievo goalkeeper thwarted a stinging free-kick from him.

However, what Juventus fans may be most disappointed with is his struggle to successfully take the Chievo defenders on during the Serie A clash. In four attempts at taking on his man, Ronaldo failed to successfully pass him on each occasion.

While Ronaldo may not got off to the start he dreamed of, there were plenty of positive signs and he will inevitably improve and the link up with his team-mates wil strengthen. Next up… Lazio. 

Out of four dribbles attempted, Ronaldo failed to successfully take on his opponent

Out of four dribbles attempted, Ronaldo failed to successfully take on his opponent

Out of four dribbles attempted, Ronaldo failed to successfully take on his opponent

Ronaldo posted a picture on Instagram of him recovering in the gym after Juventus' victory

Ronaldo posted a picture on Instagram of him recovering in the gym after Juventus' victory

Ronaldo posted a picture on Instagram of him recovering in the gym after Juventus’ victory

MESSI V ALAVES 

Goals: 2

Assists: 0

Touches: 111

Total Shots: 8

Shots on Target: 4

Chances created: 5

Successful Dribbles: 6

Passes: 90

Passing accuracy: 81% 

RONALDO V CHEIVO

Goals: 0

Assists: 0

Touches: 57

Total Shots: 8

Shots on Target: 4

Chances created: 2

Successful Dribbles: 0

Passes: 30

Passing accuracy: 90% 

MESSI VS ALAVES (Barcelona won 3-0)

New season, same old Messi. The Argentine was again influential as Barcelona eased to victory against Alaves at the Nou Camp on Saturday night.

Messi scored twice – his first being Barcelona’s 6,000th goal in La Liga – while Philippe Coutinho also got his name on the scoresheet.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner, who struck a fierce free-kick against the bar during a goalless first half, opened the scoring on 64 minutes thanks to a brilliant free-kick that found the bottom corner after cleverly firing it underneath the wall.

Messi slotted home Barcelona’s third in injury-time, shrugging off the Alaves defence after a brilliant chest down, to then slot home past Fernando Pacheco in goal.

Just like Ronaldo, Messi had eight shots – four of which were on target – and he made an impressive five chances for his team-mates.

Messi scored two brilliant goals as Barcelona shrugged off Alaves with a 3-0 victory

Messi scored two brilliant goals as Barcelona shrugged off Alaves with a 3-0 victory

Messi scored two brilliant goals as Barcelona shrugged off Alaves with a 3-0 victory

Messi stole the limelight yet again at the Nou Camp during Barcelona's La Liga opener

Messi stole the limelight yet again at the Nou Camp during Barcelona's La Liga opener

Messi stole the limelight yet again at the Nou Camp during Barcelona’s La Liga opener

The Argentina international continues to amaze with his dazzling feet, causing Alaves’ defenders real problems during one-on-ones.

In six dribbles attempted, unsurprisingly Messi managed to successfully beat his man every single time.

Just like last season, Messi will be hoping to end the season as top scorer… and he got off to the perfect start against Alaves with two great goals as he looks to lead Barcelona to a second consecutive league title.

With Ronaldo finally out of his way, 31-year-old Messi will for sure steal the limelight yet again in Spain and his dominance doesn’t appear to be coming to an end anytime soon. 

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