Ronaldo v. Messi, lets begin:
Although Messi has delicate control and such quick feet, when it comes to sheer speed Ronaldo comes first.
The Portuguese winger has to be one of the fastest pure sprinters in the game, you can recall the Champions League semifinal at Manchester when a long ball was sent forward, Ronaldo outran Puyol and Zambrotta, considered as one of the faster 'backs in the game, to a ball when both started from about 20 yards and Ronaldo a clear 40 to 50 yards away.
An argument can be made as to which type of speed is more important, speed on the ball and sprinting speed, but in this case sprinting is the category as speed with ball has more factors than God given legs and speed.
2. Heading ability
Since the origin of football, heading has been a cornerstone of creating and scoring goals. Mastering this art has become overlooked in recent years but still remains an essential asset to great players.
When comparing the two, Ronaldo and Messi, it isn't very fair as one is close to 6'2" and the other falls quite short of that mark. But the outstanding aspect of Ronaldo heading ability is the threat with head he posses that taller forwards such as Henry never possessed.
Ronaldo scored eight times with his head alone last year, and has already headed his first goal of the new season. At this rate he will spearhead himself into the legends book.
Once again it is equal on size level but just ask Wayne Rooney, who isn't a tall lad, and he will tell you generating power isn't about size—it's skill.
When it comes to power it's quite obvious again. Seeing as Ronaldo is a chiseled old fashion striker built, but has such precise and skillful shots that ridicule the human capacity. This is with disregard to free kicks mind you.
4. Free kicks
All the greats can do it, but only a few can generate magic like clockwork. Ronaldo once again easily has the upper hand and possesses undoubtedly one of the most unique free kick techniques ever seen.
He has reinvented a common speciality into a craft. Something which players put their whole careers on, David Beckham, while Ronaldo incorporates it along with rest of his game. Messi just doesn't measure up.
5. Special Moments
Messi Maradona run, or Messi hand of god, or...well I can't really think of many special Messi moments. Maybe I can conjure up some for Ronaldo.
Ronaldo's header against Roma, a Superman-like moment. Ronaldo against Chelsea, Champions League final, doesn't get better than that. Ronaldo free kick v. Pompey, arguably the greatest free-kick to grace the Premier League or any other league. Ronaldo back heel against Villa, any football fan could watch it over and over. Ronaldo free kick vs Lisbon, 2-1 in the 93rd min. As the commentator repeated "Brilliant, absolutely brilliant".
Not to mention all the trophies and awards Ronaldo has over Messi, it leaves this writer questioning—why do people even bother to compare the two? It's not that close.