Cristiano Ronaldo and Antoine Griezmann mean different things for both Real and Atletico Madrid, but they also mean the same thing to both clubs at the same time.
Ronaldo is the poster boy of Real Madrid and probably for the entire city of Madrid, and means a lot more than just goals for Los Blancos. He is the symbol of the club at the moment and maybe asides Lionel Messi at Barcelona, it’s difficult to single out any one player who means so much to a club the way Ronaldo means to Real.
He has scored 51 goals in 47 games for Real this season, making it SIX YEARS in a row he has scored over half a century of goals. No player can have such a record and not be the main man for his club.
Meanwhile, at the other end of the city, Atletico are quietly strutting their stuff, not with the usual loudness often associated with Real, but they are nonetheless showing how much they can offer with so little resources when compared to their city rivals.
Unlike Real, it is difficult to pick out just one player who overtly epitomizes what Ronaldo is at Real, because when you mention how good Griezmann has been, you also have to mention Jan Oblak or Felipe Luis or Gabi or Koke or Godin, almost in equal breath because no one player at the club means that much to them in the way Ronaldo means to Real. And that says a lot on how the team has been built.
But that being said, you have to pick Griezmann as the one player from this Atletico side who has shown to have a close enough wow-factor to what Ronaldo brings.
His 32 goals in 53 games doesn’t come close to Ronaldo’s, but then, he is as close to having the same on-the-field impact for Atletico as Ronaldo has for Real, which is why they may have different levels of importance to their teams, they are also the first two players both clubs will take a look at.
But given that for Atletico, while the Frenchman seems their surest way to goal, they have shown during the course of the season they also have several match-winners. Diego Simeone knows he can count on any of his other outfield players to be the go-to-man when Griezman hits a brickwall.
The same cannot necessarily be said for Real, however. While they have Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema to call upon should Ronaldo hit a brickwall, the Portuguese remains their most prolific match-winner whenever he plays and that makes his role all the more important.
And that is the difference between him and Griezmann in terms of their importance to their teams, and also notches him ahead as a bigger match-winner.
When both sides meet on Saturday in the Champions League final, one player is going to be the bigger match-winner if his side wins and you want to bet against Ronaldo?