World Cup: Messi vs Ronaldo



The star power of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo is undeniable. They’re global brands and their personal duel has hit the headlines on a number of occasions. So, with each making a mark on the World Cup this weekend, how did they impact social media conversation?

They had comparable experiences in their most recent games. Both carry the weight of a nation’s expectation on their shoulders and eventually managed to drag their respective teams to positive results late on, making something happen when their teams needed it most.

Over the weekend it was Argentina’s winning goalscorer Messi who yielded the most mentions on Twitter with over 2.8 million. In comparison, Ronaldo was mentioned just over 2 million times, boosted by an eye-catching piece of skill in the first half of the game against the USA before his cross to Silvestre Varela to equalise in the 95th minute.

When comparing Messi against Ronaldo we tend to see that football itself is the main focus of Messi-related tweets; the player’s performance and achievements dominate the conversation. But Ronaldo’s personality comes through more strongly and his striking hairstyle on Sunday played into that.

The Real Madrid forward shaved a backwards ‘Z’ into the side of his head, reportedly to match the surgery scar of a young child suffering from a brain disorder. Along with his overall performance and his assist, it was a key tweet topic.

Superstars Messi and Ronaldo might be winning the social World Cup, but they’ve a long way to go to match Miroslav Klose’s ability to make history with a single touch. Germany’s master goal poacher scored for the fifteenth time in four World Cup finals tournaments, taking him past compatriot Gerd Müller as Germany’s top World Cup goalscorer and equalling Ronaldo of Brazil as the top scorer in World Cup history. With a significant helping hand from emerging celebrity Twitter pundit Rihanna, Klose’s tweet mentions rose to over 860,000 during the weekend. Not bad for a super-sub.