Who Is the Best Footballer In the World? Ronaldo or Messi?

Mark BatemanCorrespondent IMay 26, 2009

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 20:  Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United controls the ball during a Manchester United training session held ahead of next week's UEFA Champions League Final at the Carrington Training Complex on May 20, 2009 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

As the battle to be crowned club champions of Europe takes place in tomorrow night's Champions League final between Manchester United and Barcelona, another battle will be taking place as, arguably, the world's two best players go head-to-head.

This Goliath encounter will see soccer fans worldwide glued to their TV sets and will be played in front of a sell-out crowd at the Stadio Olympico, in Rome, with most looking forward to watching Manchester United's Christiano Ronaldo and Barcelona's Lionel Messi.

Both of them have had fantastic seasons, personally, and have helped their clubs to win their respective leagues.

Portuguese sensation, Ronaldo, picked up his third title winners' medal and finished second top goal scorer in the English Premier League, behind Chelsea striker Nicholas Anelka.

While Barcelona's Argentinean wonder-kid, Lionel Messi, has shown fantastic form, scoring 23 goals for the Catalan side as well as providing 11 assists, including setting up Andres Iniesta's injury time goal against Chelsea in the semi-final, which confirmed Barca would play Manchester United in Rome.

Last season, United won the trophy by beating Chelsea in the final in Moscow and manager Sir Alex Ferguson will be hoping that his side can make it back-to-back victories, an honour that has been held by two previous English teams, Liverpool and Nottingham Forest.

The last final was decided by a penalty shootout, but bookies and fans alike believe the match will be decided inside the 90 minutes and it will be a true test of both teams' star names.

Whatever happens in Rome, Messi is likely to stay with Barcelona. The 21-year-old is happy with life in Spain and to play for a club with such a rich history, great facilities, and passionate fans. The same can't be said, definitely, about Ronaldo.

The Portugal international has been linked with a big bucks move to Barcelona's rivals, Real Madrid.

Any such transfer would generate a possible £75 million for United and would see Ronaldo and Messi battling each other in both the league and, potentially, in Europe as well.

So, while tomorrow night's final maybe an indicator as to who is the best footballer in the world, fans may have to wait until next season to confirm it.