Author of A-M essays 📚
This is utter nonsense. Have a look at the numbers of players who went from Spain to England during the period you're talking about. Many enjoyed greater success statistically in England. Totally invalid argument for taking merit away from Messi's achievements.Messi and Cristiano built a career playing against dogshit defenders, half the guys in La liga that messi was humiliating were glorified part-timers.
That said, yes, Ronaldo was the first we've seen in the modern era to put up Messi / Cristiano level numbers, and he did it 10 years earlier in a lower goal scoring environment in world football and in that league, in what was the best league in the world at the time (he also did it here in Spain, of course, in what was a weaker Spanish league compared to the rest of the world than the one Messi did it in).
In short, this sums it up ^ .With regard to CR7, I concur, he's only ahead of R9 because of longevity. But Messi does have something over R9 as a player, and that is playmaking. Prime R9 was a more dangerous striker, but Messi is just as potent of an attacking threat overall, if not slightly better.
Re: Henry vs. R9...
R9 npG+A, Barcelona: 1.1 (/90)
Serie A pre-injury: 0.66
Henry at Arsenal:
You'd have to adjust for the goal scoring environment difference between England during those years Henry achieved those numbers and Ronaldo at Italy, but I would tend to agree that there isn't as much in it between Henry and Ronaldo as people are making out, I think it's the fact that we'd really never seen anything like Ronaldo when he first came up that makes us think he was that much better than Henry, when I think the more realistic argument is that they are actually pretty close, even if I'd still say Ronaldo pre-injury edges it (being the best player I've seen in my time watching football--post 95 more or or less--not named Messi).