It's the biggest argument in football - who is the greatest player in the world right now? The people at Football Manager have attempted to settle the debate, once and for all, and a certain Portuguese winger comes out on top.
They've used their game to put Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Franck Ribery in far less pampered situations than they're used to; namely the English Championship's bottom three sides: Yeovil, Barnsley and Doncaster respectively. With all three fighting for their lives to escape relegation, the simulation dropped them in to the present day situation at those clubs to play out the rest of the reason, and tested whether they could do it on a cold Tuesday night in the north. The results show that Ronaldo is the man for all occasions.
Ronaldo lifted Barnsley from bottom (24th) to finish in 15th, scoring 17 goals, providing 5 assists and a 7.57 average rating. Messi scored 11, created 8 and took 14 man-of-the-match awards with an average rating of 8.04, but could not inspire Yeovil to climb out of the danger zone - they were relegated. Meanwhile, Ribery scored only 9 goals, with 6 assists, but enabled Doncaster to stay up in 19th place.
We're not sure if this conclusively proves that Ronaldo is the best, but it definitely shows that Barnsley should get their chequebook out and get on the phone to Real Madrid, while Yeovil should probably just give up now: even having Messi won't save them from an instant return to League 1, it seems.
(Images: Rex/Sports Interactive)