Ronaldo or Messi? The verdict is in

Leg or breast? Spicy stuffing or a smearing in some special sauce?

Just two of the decisions often made by Sergio Ramos over his winter break, as well as being the culinary choices on offer at Christmas dinner tables all over the world.

The other big one to chew over with a mouthful of hot meat must be the thorny issue of who is better: Leo Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo?

Well, like Ever Banega during a sudden power cut, the mass debate is well and truly over with Marca making the definitive, argument-ending decision on the affair.

And the Madrid-mad paper surprised the world by opining that neither player is better than the other, arguing that both offer different, incomparable elements to their respective teams

Actually, that’s not true.

Marca’s post-Christmas edition announced to the waiting world that Ronaldo was by far the best player. And they can prove it, too.

Rather than taking the traditional and immensely flawed method of asking experts, players and manager for their thoughts - an idiotic notion that France Football magazine and FIFA plumped for - Marca came to the conclusion that Messi was a mere molehill compared to Ronaldo by getting a writer to come up with some random categories, award points to both players in each one and declare the Madrid man as the clear winner on the front page of the paper.

Judged over eight attributes including technique, team-play, speed and dribbling skills, Marca gave Ronaldo a supreme 88 points, pounding Messi’s pathetic 80 into the dust.

This ludicrous piece of journalism - and in this area, La Liga Loca is a bit of an expert - is just one recent product of a paper increasingly consumed with envy over Barcelona’s success in 2009, an envy that surely has its source at the Santiago Bernabeu.

A paper that was never exactly the mark of quality is now going downhill faster than Maniche on a skateboard to become little more than a daily dose of the bitterest bile.

Last Saturday’s Marca featured the story that Usain Bolt had chosen Ronaldo as his favourite footballer of 2009 “and not Leo Messi.”

Wednesday’s edition leads with the shocking revelation that Cristiano Ronaldo has over three million supporters on Facebook, more than any other sportsman (including Messi) and boasts that “no footballer in the world... comes close to the popularity of Ronaldo”.

However, that effort was probably better than Tuesday’s headline, which screamed that “Guti’s back!” as if it were a good thing for its Madridista readers.

“Guti is the great gift that the Three Kings have brought Manuel Pellegrini,” claimed the paper.

Apart from the constant claims that Ronaldo is bigger and better, faster and fitter than Messi, Marca’s other ongoing theme is the notion that Barcelona’s success is based on favourable decisions from referees - something that never happens to Madrid.

Especially not with that penalty against Almería a few weeks back. Or Ronaldo not getting booked for his dive against Osasuna.

“How long are the refereeing mistakes going to keep working in Barcelona’s favour?” grumbled Marca’s editorial last Sunday in response to controversy during the Villarreal game.

The paper’s director, Eduardo Inda, whined two days later that “if a referee is in doubt in Barcelona’s favour, then they blow,” and wrote that “I’m not saying that the competition is fixed, but Spanish football mustn’t only be fair but also be seen to be fair.”

Now, La Liga Loca is all for the taunting, pee-taking and your-mothering that takes place between the country's Big Two.

The Spanish game would be a duller concept without it.

But there comes a point when you begin to feel that those poor souls forced to write such guff must want to staple their own hands to the desk stop them from doing so.

When you begin to feel that the paper’s editorial meeting consists of a phone call to Florentino Pérez.

When you wonder about the state of your own sanity by considering AS to be a superior alternative - a paper that led Tuesday’s edition with a message from Kaká’s Twitter page. From last year.

Unfortunately, that day has already arrived. More to read...

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