Cristiano Ronaldo vs Lionel Messi 2021 | Who is better?

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Post by futbol_bill Wed Sep 15, 2021 10:06 am

I wonder how you lot would say of a comparison of Maradona and Pele? I say Pele by a mile, but you Messi fans will likely go for the drugie

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Post by El Gunner Wed Sep 15, 2021 11:48 am

@Doc wrote:Considering the title has 2021 in it, I'll take Ronaldo over Messi.

If one is asking who is the better footballer, well, aesthetically, it's Messi. Just a naturally gifted footballer, real generational talent. I, however, disagree with Dani's take on what he wrote in that Ronaldo reached Messi's level. Not in terms of sheer talent, that one is something that Messi was born with but you don't accomplish as much as another guy being at a lower level.

N.B not saying Ronaldo is basically a better version of Lucas and Inzaghi as he is a very talented footballer. Just, Messi always had that skill that you knew was always going to be grand.

come on Doc, even in year 2021 Messi is still better... have you seen Argentina's matches this year?
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Post by Doc Wed Sep 15, 2021 1:07 pm

I said what I said lol.
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Post by El Gunner Wed Sep 15, 2021 1:17 pm

^^ bias probably
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Post by The Franchise Wed Sep 15, 2021 1:58 pm

@Doc wrote:Considering the title has 2021 in it, I'll take Ronaldo over Messi.

If one is asking who is the better footballer, well, aesthetically, it's Messi. Just a naturally gifted footballer, real generational talent. I, however, disagree with Dani's take on what he wrote in that Ronaldo reached Messi's level. Not in terms of sheer talent, that one is something that Messi was born with but you don't accomplish as much as another guy being at a lower level.

N.B not saying Ronaldo is basically a better version of Lucas and Inzaghi as he is a very talented footballer. Just, Messi always had that skill that you knew was always going to be grand.

How has he reached his level? If you mean current level, you can say that, I dont agree but it is what it is. But in terms of Messi's best level, a few years ago, Cristiano has been that good?

I dont believe so. I never watched Cristiano and couldnt believe what I was seeing. A tremendous forward, one of the best, but I never saw him play and marveled as I have with other players.
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Post by The Franchise Wed Sep 15, 2021 1:59 pm

@futbol_bill wrote:I wonder how you lot would say of a comparison of Maradona and Pele? I say Pele by a mile, but you Messi fans will likely go for the drugie

How to compare 2 players from decades ago who didnt even play thier primes in the same time period?
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Post by FennecFox7 Thu Sep 16, 2021 1:46 am

I just wish people would look through this in a balanced way and not put Ronaldo’s personality or supposed antics or Messi’s demeanor (which some people dislike somehow, idk cause the guy is a pretty humble dude).

Messi has his limitations too. He style demands the ball at his feet at all times and he is positionally limited off the ball. If he’s having a great game the other team gets torn apart, but sometimes there is a lack of flexibility in the way Messi teams have set up. Other talented players don’t receive the ball as much and have to play off of messi as the focal point. Another missed point is the high amount of turnovers messi has. Take today’s match for example or some of his bad games. Something Ronaldo does well is hold up the ball and while he is far from flashy, he rarely loses the ball in stupid or compromising positions. Cant say the same about messi especially when he is having a bad game, he is a turnover machine. Both don’t play defense so I’m not gonna hold that against Leo.

Just trying to put some balanced discussion here. I agree largely with dani and cas but there’s two sides to this story.
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Post by Nishankly Thu Sep 16, 2021 2:00 am

Well, Ronaldo is now playing through a team that cannot score without him after the money spent while Messi is playing for a team that has 500m just around him. I do not understand why people can still make comparisons but I do get how Real and Barca fans will still be at it considering their history. Ronaldo will score a lot purely because of the helplessness of United who hope he will fill in the gaps (no second choice RB or LB, no CDM, main front 3 rotators injured, so mashallah Ronaldo puts in the 2 chances he gets) of their team compared to Messi who was a luxury signing for whom no system changes was required and Messi has to adjust to how Neymar and Mbappe contribute.
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Post by Blue Thu Sep 16, 2021 3:27 am

Ronaldo has proven himself in every major league, and taken on more challenges. While Messi has played his entire career in his comfort zone, spending his time at the club since he was 12. Messi with Argentina is nowhere as good as BarcaMessi. He finally won a Copa America after zillion tries, and on the most superior team in the competition every time. Messi will go down as the best ever, but his resume still lacking for me to say he is undoubtedly the best ever.
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Post by El Gunner Thu Sep 16, 2021 12:25 pm

some of these negative points brought up against Messi sound contrived and forced more than anything else... do you really think Messi would not be the best player in any league?? so now we're gunna hold it against him that he has only played in his "comfort zone" Laughing funnily enough Messi has a history of dominating English teams whenever he has faced them in the CL.

Also Messi isn't a "turnover machine" Laughing he only has more noticeable turnovers as compared to other players because he has the ball at his feet more often than other players. Also having the ball at his feet is more a consequence of how more significantly talented he is than anyone else on the pitch that's why it's logical for the ball to end up at his feet in most plays... for example, i remember in high school we had this player in our team who was clearly so much more talented than the rest of us, so most of our plays ended up running through him, and we had to adjust around his style of play. You try your best to make the team as balanced as possible, but it just naturally happens because of the talent and efficiency (i'm sure there is a scientific/mathematical term for this). Another smaller example is Grealish at Aston Villa last season.
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Post by Casciavit Thu Sep 16, 2021 3:16 pm

The Messi proving himself in another league comment is usually a good barometer for football intelligence. It's not like he wasn't regularly raping English teams every chance he got in the CL. Laughing

Do people seriously think if Messi joined a top English team he wouldn't have scored a shitload of goals? Like is that a serious thought process? With the amount of space offered in the league do you seriously think Messi wouldn't munch on the defenses?

Physically and technically Messi was similar to David Silva (but a lot quicker) and was a better creator than him. Positionally he was like Aguero and he was a better scorer than him. If those guys became PL legends coming from La Liga despite being inferior to him what makes you think Messi wouldn't have done the same? Salah is also a quick left footed RW and he became a PL legend. All these guys are similar to him, but are worse than him at their own best traits yet I'm supposed to believe he would've flopped? Okay. Laughing

If he joined City last summer at 33 he would've still scored +30 PL goals from all the tap ins De Bruyne and co would've fed him. Or is it a case of him having to be overlapped by Coufal to prove his abilities?

I remember Serie A fans used to use the same thought process. Especially in the early 2010s when Messi and Ronaldo were scoring 50 goals in La Liga alone. "They wouldn't be able to do that in a more tactical and defensive league!!"

Yet, the moment grandpa Ronaldo joined he was still scoring a shitload of goals. That kind of talent especially in their primes would've dominated any domestic competition if they played with the top teams there.
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Post by Thimmy Thu Sep 16, 2021 5:21 pm

I can't think of any examples right now, but I'm pretty sure I've watched several players in my time of watching football, who played well against English teams in the CL, only to flop after actually arriving at an English club. I'm not looking to argue for or against Messi's ability to perform "on a rainy day in Stoke", I don't think we'll ever be able to confirm or deny it, but I don't know if I agree with the example you pointed out. Playing against a league team in the Champions League isn't quite the same as playing in the same league as them, for a different league team.
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Post by BarcaLearning Thu Sep 16, 2021 6:10 pm

Over the years deniers exists all the time, it just goes to show ppl can have a very different view on the exactly same thing, its very strange, but Ive realized that the more older I get Razz Its weird, but its just the way ppl are. Bias we are all guilty of basically, and its hard to change ones opinion.
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Post by Blue Fri Sep 17, 2021 8:06 pm

@Casciavit wrote:The Messi proving himself in another league comment is usually a good barometer for football intelligence. It's not like he wasn't regularly raping English teams every chance he got in the CL. Laughing

Do people seriously think if Messi joined a top English team he wouldn't have scored a shitload of goals? Like is that a serious thought process? With the amount of space offered in the league do you seriously think Messi wouldn't munch on the defenses?

Physically and technically Messi was similar to David Silva (but a lot quicker) and was a better creator than him. Positionally he was like Aguero and he was a better scorer than him. If those guys became PL legends coming from La Liga despite being inferior to him what makes you think Messi wouldn't have done the same? Salah is also a quick left footed RW and he became a PL legend. All these guys are similar to him, but are worse than him at their own best traits yet I'm supposed to believe he would've flopped? Okay. Laughing

If he joined City last summer at 33 he would've still scored +30 PL goals from all the tap ins De Bruyne and co would've fed him. Or is it a case of him having to be overlapped by Coufal to prove his abilities?

I remember Serie A fans used to use the same thought process. Especially in the early 2010s when Messi and Ronaldo were scoring 50 goals in La Liga alone. "They wouldn't be able to do that in a more tactical and defensive league!!"

Yet, the moment grandpa Ronaldo joined he was still scoring a shitload of goals. That kind of talent especially in their primes would've dominated any domestic competition if they played with the top teams there.


Your response is a good barometer of your reading comprehension.

Me: I question if Messi would have reached the same level if he played outside of his comfort zone at Barca.

Your response: Messi is great in the CL with Barca.

Personally think both players were greatly benefited by playing on super teams, I think this is the biggest difference between them and past generational players. Would Ronaldo reached the same peak if he didn’t play with the great players at Madrid, or Messi if he didn’t play with some of the best players in the position.
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Post by farfan Fri Sep 17, 2021 8:24 pm

@Thimmy wrote:I can't think of any examples right now, but I'm pretty sure I've watched several players in my time of watching football, who played well against English teams in the CL, only to flop after actually arriving at an English club. I'm not looking to argue for or against Messi's ability to perform "on a rainy day in Stoke", I don't think we'll ever be able to confirm or deny it, but I don't know if I agree with the example you pointed out. Playing against a league team in the Champions League isn't quite the same as playing in the same league as them, for a different league team.


Pretty much. There is a difference between facing an English team here and there, and having to play that intense pace week in and week out throughout the season.

Not doubting Messi's ability to crush it in the EPL tho.
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Post by Casciavit Fri Sep 17, 2021 9:20 pm

@Blue wrote:
@Casciavit wrote:The Messi proving himself in another league comment is usually a good barometer for football intelligence. It's not like he wasn't regularly raping English teams every chance he got in the CL. Laughing

Do people seriously think if Messi joined a top English team he wouldn't have scored a shitload of goals? Like is that a serious thought process? With the amount of space offered in the league do you seriously think Messi wouldn't munch on the defenses?

Physically and technically Messi was similar to David Silva (but a lot quicker) and was a better creator than him. Positionally he was like Aguero and he was a better scorer than him. If those guys became PL legends coming from La Liga despite being inferior to him what makes you think Messi wouldn't have done the same? Salah is also a quick left footed RW and he became a PL legend. All these guys are similar to him, but are worse than him at their own best traits yet I'm supposed to believe he would've flopped? Okay. Laughing

If he joined City last summer at 33 he would've still scored +30 PL goals from all the tap ins De Bruyne and co would've fed him. Or is it a case of him having to be overlapped by Coufal to prove his abilities?

I remember Serie A fans used to use the same thought process. Especially in the early 2010s when Messi and Ronaldo were scoring 50 goals in La Liga alone. "They wouldn't be able to do that in a more tactical and defensive league!!"

Yet, the moment grandpa Ronaldo joined he was still scoring a shitload of goals. That kind of talent especially in their primes would've dominated any domestic competition if they played with the top teams there.


Your response is a good barometer of your reading comprehension.

Me: I  question if Messi would have reached the same level if he played outside of his comfort zone at Barca.

Your response: Messi is great in the CL with Barca.

Personally think both players were greatly benefited by playing on super teams, I think this is the biggest difference between them and past generational players. Would Ronaldo reached the same peak if he didn’t play with the great players at Madrid, or Messi if he didn’t play with some of the best players in the position.


Your OP was the typical premface horseshit. Who are you fooling just because you used your last sentence to deflect your dig about Argentina? I’ve seen your posts and given what you said about Lukaku your line of thinking clearly aligns with Premface logic. I said a lot more than Messi plays good with Barca against PL teams, but you conveniently ignored it.

And yes, I brought up Barca because he was destroying these English teams individually. He was dancing between your defenders. Why wouldn’t he be able to do that in the PL? If anything the PL provides more space than he gets in La Liga. What about Messi’s game wouldn’t translate to the PL when he was dropping them on the ground in the CL? This wasn’t a case of him being fed tap-ins. It was mainly individual brilliance.

At least during Barca’s golden era, the argument made sense a bit because they were playing heavily patterned football. Not many players could find him between the lines like Xavi and Iniesta did or play 1-2s with him as Alves did. They also didn’t have a chance creating machine like Pep as the coach.

But for me, that argument died when post-MSN his midfielders were the likes of Paulinho/Rakitic/Vidal and he was still scoring 50/season. He didn’t have Alves overlapping him he had Sergei Roberto. The only clear automatism he had going for him was Alba’s overlaps those years.

His coaches weren’t world-class either. If anything if he joined a serious PL team like City or Liverpool post-2017 he would’ve exceeded his statistical production. Do you think he wouldn’t have won trophies with them or wouldn’t have won Golden boots or wouldn’t have challenged for the CL? Those teams are superior to Barca and the small English teams sit back against them the same way the small Spanish teams do to Barca.

This isn’t even a Messi thing either. I heard the same stuff about Ronaldo at Madrid, but when he went to Juve and he was being supplied by Rabiot he was still finishing top scorer.

GOATs are GOAT anywhere. Put Messi in United in 2012 he might score 50 goals instead of 70, but given the PL hype Salah got for scoring 40 in 2018, I don’t think it would hurt his standing the way you think it does.

No one is denying they played with super teams, but your argument applies to everyone who is called GOAT. Would Pelé have reached the level he did if he didn’t play with Brazil or Santos, two super teams at the time in the 60s? Di Stefano played with the Madrid team that won 5 CL’s in a row is that not a super team? Cruyff played for Ajax who won 3 CL’s in a row in the 70s, was that not a super team either? Unless you’re trying to make the argument that those guys carried their teams which isn’t the case either. They were all paired up with great supporting casts much like Messi and Ronaldo were. Even Maradona’s Napoli were spending tons every summer to compete. Do you think all those legends I mentioned would have “rEaChEd tHe SaMe lEvEl iF tHeY dIdN’t pLaY wItH sUpEr tEaMs”

So using that argument to question a player’s club achievements can be done to all of the GOAT’s. The best players played with the best players. If Messi broke out at a smaller team and he was scoring 30 goals a season a bigger club would’ve come and signed him to pair him up with better teammates so he can score 50 goals a season instead and have a realistic chance of winning the CL.

If Messi or Ronaldo had their breakout seasons at small teams they still would have found a way to play at Barca or Madrid because they had the level to play for the best teams. A non-competitive team wouldn’t have been able to keep them. If they went to a rich team the rich team would’ve bought them a quality supporting cast because one player doesn’t win CL’s and that's the kind of silverware that drives players. If a team couldn't offer that they would have went to another that could.  

If you guys are waiting for someone to score 70 goals and carry a shit team to the CL to not have doubts about a player’s actual level or historical standing, well then I got bad news for you.


Last edited by Casciavit on Fri Sep 17, 2021 10:49 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Casciavit Fri Sep 17, 2021 10:12 pm

If you want to analyze attacking players who receive GOAT shouts for their club achievements, which ones weren’t mainly remembered for playing with super teams?

I also think it’s important to make a key distinction when speaking about super teams. There are teams who become labelled that after they win and those who get called that before they win. Barca in September 2008 wasn’t a super team, but it became considered one after they won the sextuple. PSG in September 2021 is considered one despite not winning anything yet.

Messi is one of the reasons that Barca became a super team. How can you hold against someone what they helped build to create? Laughing

I also want to clarify that I don’t think he scores 70 goals a season if he didn’t have the supporting cast he did. But it’s an argument that applies to every GOAT at club level because they all had world class support too. The reason they have the legacy they do is because their individual talent blossomed under world class teams. That led to them winning trophies and ultimately trophies are what build your legacy.

I just think with Messi’s talent even if he had his start at a midtable team he would’ve ended up in an elite team who buys players to build around him so they can challenge for trophies. Would he have won as many trophies with Barca? Maybe not. But he still would have won a lot and he still would have had a GOAT reputation because he’s arguably the most talented individual player ever. Again we are talking about someone who dribbles past 5-6 players then scores. Capello called him the best he ever saw at 17 and Ronaldinho said the same. He was always going to make it to the top.

Barca has won one CL in the last decade. Yet Messi was still winning Ballon d’ors and was still widely regarded as the best ever. Even if he didn’t join Barca he still would have got his due. Maybe he wouldn’t get GOAT shouts at 23, but by age 34 he definitely would regardless of how an alternate road to the top happens. If he didn’t play for a super team at 23 he would have found himself playing in one by the time he was 25. Laughing

I think most people consider him top 3 ever, and I really believe that if he didn’t have the luxury of playing with Barcelona he would’ve still gone down as the best of his generation and at least top 10 ever. His level of talent was always going to get him into the best teams that can win trophies and that combination of talent and silverware is what builds your legacy. He probably doesn’t win as many trophies as he did in Barca, but again none of the other players who get GOAT shouts would if they didn’t play for stacked teams either. If it applies to everyone how can you use it to undermine their achievements?
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Post by Found Sat Sep 18, 2021 10:14 am

@Casciavit wrote:
Barca has won one CL in the last decade. Yet Messi was still winning Ballon d’ors and was still widely regarded as the best ever.


I remember this in 2010. There was a couple of months before Barca got cucked by Mourinho when Messi was in insane form, scoring a ridiculous amount of worldies, dribbling past everyone.
I’m still torn about whether that was the right decision, but it was probably the best football Messi has ever played, overall.
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Post by Found Sat Sep 18, 2021 10:25 am

@Casciavit wrote:
No one is denying they played with super teams, but your argument applies to everyone who is called GOAT. Would Pelé have reached the level he did if he didn’t play with Brazil or Santos, two super teams at the time in the 60s? Di Stefano played with the Madrid team that won 5 CL’s in a row is that not a super team? Cruyff played for Ajax who won 3 CL’s in a row in the 70s, was that not a super team either? Unless you’re trying to make the argument that those guys carried their teams which isn’t the case either. They were all paired up with great supporting casts much like Messi and Ronaldo were. Even Maradona’s Napoli were spending tons every summer to compete. Do you think all those legends I mentioned would have “rEaChEd tHe SaMe lEvEl iF tHeY dIdN’t pLaY wItH sUpEr tEaMs”

So using that argument to question a player’s club achievements can be done to all of the GOAT’s. The best players played with the best players. If Messi broke out at a smaller team and he was scoring 30 goals a season a bigger club would’ve come and signed him to pair him up with better teammates so he can score 50 goals a season instead and have a realistic chance of winning the CL.

If Messi or Ronaldo had their breakout seasons at small teams they still would have found a way to play at Barca or Madrid because they had the level to play for the best teams. A non-competitive team wouldn’t have been able to keep them. If they went to a rich team the rich team would’ve bought them a quality supporting cast because one player doesn’t win CL’s and that's the kind of silverware that drives players. If a team couldn't offer that they would have went to another that could.  

If you guys are waiting for someone to score 70 goals and carry a shit team to the CL to not have doubts about a player’s actual level or historical standing, well then I got bad news for you.



I’m not a historian of every league but I know quite a few had a rule against foreigners until recently. So no, “super teams” are kind of a modern thing. The talent pool big clubs could draw from in the past was mostly restricted to the national level, with a low maximum limit to the number of foreign players they could buy. So cherrypicking the cream of the crop from all over the world, that is a recent thing, that you could argue Messi and Ronaldo have benefited a lot from. (Although Messi was double lucky to come around at the time of a Spanish golden generation mostly focused in one club’s youth academy - la Masia), but that Spanish core was fortified by a litany of global stars.
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Post by Beautiful Football Sat Sep 18, 2021 7:57 pm

I never really quit understand when we compare Ronaldo and Messi why it is always goal scoring ability or statictis of goals come up, what about dribbling, passing, vision, creavity all othe basic fundamantal attacking attribute of a player? it is quite absurd when we are comparing two great player its always end up only goal scoring discussion.

I have also notice same thing in modern player(Mbappe, Haaland) also its all about scoring Statistics. Gerd Muller, Puskas, Eusebio born in worng era and very unfortunate.

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Post by Thimmy Sun Sep 19, 2021 1:35 am

Because some people define "the best" as the most efficient. Goals decide games, therefore that's typically what it boils down to. Others define it as someone who excels at what they're capable of doing with the ball, irrespective of goalscoring ability or efficiency. Neither definition is wrong.
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Post by sportsczy Sun Sep 19, 2021 1:51 am

Stats can't be the benchmark, because they both have crazy ones... that's basically a draw there.

Messi is a more unique period.  He makes me dream a lot more.  There's a quality about him that you can't measure and you can't see in any other player except the other very unique ones in history.

CR is unique also, but in a more engineered way, if that makes sense.  Messi is all raw talent and magic.

Reminds me of back in the 80s in tennis when people compared Lendl and McEnroe.  McEnroe was clearly the more godly player with just this unique raw talent.  But Lendl was so damned efficient;  so there was debate.  Now, Lendl isn't forgotten... but nobody dreams about him in future generations.  They just remember his stats.  I feel it will be the same with CR as time passes.  However, everyone will still dream of Messi.

And btw, Messi is just as efficient as CR if not more.  People forget that CR was the opposite of efficient until roughly 6 years ago.  He was a volume guy, which drove me crazy.  He scored a goal roughly every 10 shots lol.  You gave CR the ball and he was going to shoot... every time almost. Messi was always efficient.

Best i can explain it.

Probably the only one who will get my McEnroe v Lendl thing is Bill lol.
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Post by futbol_bill Sun Sep 19, 2021 3:17 pm

I do get it Sports, lol
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Post by sportsczy Sun Sep 19, 2021 5:59 pm

Actually, an even better tennis comparison is Nadal v Federer.  Both are legends and great champions.  But who is better?  If you want an engineered physical machine, Nadal.  If you like pure raw & unique talent, Federer.

I think most people prefer Federer with all due respect to Nadal.
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Post by El Gunner Sun Sep 19, 2021 6:03 pm

yea it's a pretty similar comparison, although only difference here is that Nadal wins in the H2H comparison
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Post by sportsczy Sun Sep 19, 2021 6:26 pm

@El Gunner wrote:yea it's a pretty similar comparison, although only difference here is that Nadal wins in the H2H comparison

Agree to disagree. I don't think Nadal wins at all in the H2H.

To me, you take the super-specialty surfaces out, i.e. Wimbledon and Roland Garros, and then you compare the rest, which are neutral surfaces.
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