Is Ronnie O’Sullivan The Messi of Snooker?
February 13, 2017 (No Comments) by Andy Leech

Last month, when Ronnie O’Sullivan made the bold claim that he can be “the Messi of snooker”, most of the sporting world collectively sniggered and said, “You play snooker mate, pipe down”.

But to the astonishment of many, just a short time later, five time Ballon d’Or winner, Lionel Messi, declared to the masses that he one day wished to be “The Ronnie O’Sullivan of Football” (this may be an alternative fact).

is-ronnie-osullivan-the-messi-of-snooker

Despite the rather arrogant, and at times, quite strange utterings of O’Sullivan, there can be no doubting his genius. The Englishman’s record speaks for itself, but can his ability and achievements truly be compared with the greatest footballer in living memory? Let’s look at the strengths and weaknesses of this argument.

Yes, he is the Messi of Snooker, God dammit!

The early years of Ronnie’s and Leo’s careers share similarities. Just like Messi, O’Sullivan burst on the scene as a teen prodigy, breaking records at a young age. Some of these include youngest player to ever win the UK Championship at seventeen, and the youngest ever Master’s winner at nineteen. Not bad, says you.

Nicknamed “The Rocket” for his ferocious and rapid style of play, he captured the imagination of the sporting world with his showman like performances. Such is his entertaining style and his ability to play with such a high standard off his right and left sides, has resulted in many commentators labelling him “the greatest ever”.

The Stats Don’t Lie…

His record is just plain silly, at this stage. He seems to have won everything, multiple times. Be it his seven Masters titles, five UK Championships, five World Championships or ten (yes, 10) Premier League titles. He also holds the record for the most competitive century breaks with 860, the most competitive 147s with 13, as well as the quickiest competitive 147 where his average shot time was just 8.8 seconds. Like I said, they don’t call him “The Rocket” for nothing.

the-stats-dont-lie-ronnie-osullivan

But something that really makes O’Sullivan comparable with other sporting greats such as Rodger Federer, Henry Shefflin, and of course Leonel Messi, is the manner in which he performs. “The Rocket” has never been interested in long drawn-out games. His sole purpose is to entertain.

The Showman

At the mere mention of snooker, Ronnie O’Sullivan is one of the first names that comes to mind. The same can be said for football and Messi (that being said, Dirk Kuyt is probably the first name that jumps into my head, but that’s the subject of a completely different article).

He’s the greatest ever, right?

Why he isn’t the Messi of snooker

When you think of that little ball of Argentinian greatness, a couple of words come to mind. Humble. Sportsmanship. Drive. Loyalty. Tax evading (couldn’t resist).

But these are not traits that can really be associated with Ronnie. While we at The Sharpe can neither confirm nor deny any tax wrong-doings by “The Rocket”, his drive and loyalty can certainly be questioned.

The Religious Rocket

His claims of becoming “the Messi of snooker” came only a year after he claimed that God had told him to quit the sport and become a pundit. While it’s strange that the big guy in the sky would be interested in snooker punditry, I’m just glad he took a break from helping Donald Trump on his presidential quest (it’s a joke lads, put the pitchforks away).

the-religious-rocket

Spectacularly Careless

Ronnie O’Sullivan’s talents cannot be questioned, but sometimes watching him, you get the feeling that he’s just not that arsed. He seems to value entertaining, more than he values actually winning and being number one. He hasn’t held the top spot in the snooker rankings since 2010, and these days he seems to be under the media glare more-so for swearing at journalists and giving bizarre interviews, than his actual achievements.

In conclusion, there is no doubt that Ronnie will be remembered as one of the greats of the game. When he retires, the sport might be a bit shagged, but I cannot see him ever being regarded in the same high esteem of the greatest footballer on the planet.

Talent-wise, Ronnie O’Sullivan is up there with the best of them, but attitude-wise, he’s more Mario Balotelli than he is Messi.

Andy Leech
Writes about sport and the general idiocy of the human race. Once read a George Orwell book and now understands life.

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Is Ronnie O’Sullivan The Messi of Snooker?
February 13, 2017 (No Comments) by Andy Leech

Last month, when Ronnie O’Sullivan made the bold claim that he can be “the Messi of snooker”, most of the sporting world collectively sniggered and said, “You play snooker mate, pipe down”.

But to the astonishment of many, just a short time later, five time Ballon d’Or winner, Lionel Messi, declared to the masses that he one day wished to be “The Ronnie O’Sullivan of Football” (this may be an alternative fact).

is-ronnie-osullivan-the-messi-of-snooker

Despite the rather arrogant, and at times, quite strange utterings of O’Sullivan, there can be no doubting his genius. The Englishman’s record speaks for itself, but can his ability and achievements truly be compared with the greatest footballer in living memory? Let’s look at the strengths and weaknesses of this argument.

Yes, he is the Messi of Snooker, God dammit!

The early years of Ronnie’s and Leo’s careers share similarities. Just like Messi, O’Sullivan burst on the scene as a teen prodigy, breaking records at a young age. Some of these include youngest player to ever win the UK Championship at seventeen, and the youngest ever Master’s winner at nineteen. Not bad, says you.

Nicknamed “The Rocket” for his ferocious and rapid style of play, he captured the imagination of the sporting world with his showman like performances. Such is his entertaining style and his ability to play with such a high standard off his right and left sides, has resulted in many commentators labelling him “the greatest ever”.

The Stats Don’t Lie…

His record is just plain silly, at this stage. He seems to have won everything, multiple times. Be it his seven Masters titles, five UK Championships, five World Championships or ten (yes, 10) Premier League titles. He also holds the record for the most competitive century breaks with 860, the most competitive 147s with 13, as well as the quickiest competitive 147 where his average shot time was just 8.8 seconds. Like I said, they don’t call him “The Rocket” for nothing.

the-stats-dont-lie-ronnie-osullivan

But something that really makes O’Sullivan comparable with other sporting greats such as Rodger Federer, Henry Shefflin, and of course Leonel Messi, is the manner in which he performs. “The Rocket” has never been interested in long drawn-out games. His sole purpose is to entertain.

The Showman

At the mere mention of snooker, Ronnie O’Sullivan is one of the first names that comes to mind. The same can be said for football and Messi (that being said, Dirk Kuyt is probably the first name that jumps into my head, but that’s the subject of a completely different article).

He’s the greatest ever, right?

Why he isn’t the Messi of snooker

When you think of that little ball of Argentinian greatness, a couple of words come to mind. Humble. Sportsmanship. Drive. Loyalty. Tax evading (couldn’t resist).

But these are not traits that can really be associated with Ronnie. While we at The Sharpe can neither confirm nor deny any tax wrong-doings by “The Rocket”, his drive and loyalty can certainly be questioned.

The Religious Rocket

His claims of becoming “the Messi of snooker” came only a year after he claimed that God had told him to quit the sport and become a pundit. While it’s strange that the big guy in the sky would be interested in snooker punditry, I’m just glad he took a break from helping Donald Trump on his presidential quest (it’s a joke lads, put the pitchforks away).

the-religious-rocket

Spectacularly Careless

Ronnie O’Sullivan’s talents cannot be questioned, but sometimes watching him, you get the feeling that he’s just not that arsed. He seems to value entertaining, more than he values actually winning and being number one. He hasn’t held the top spot in the snooker rankings since 2010, and these days he seems to be under the media glare more-so for swearing at journalists and giving bizarre interviews, than his actual achievements.

In conclusion, there is no doubt that Ronnie will be remembered as one of the greats of the game. When he retires, the sport might be a bit shagged, but I cannot see him ever being regarded in the same high esteem of the greatest footballer on the planet.

Talent-wise, Ronnie O’Sullivan is up there with the best of them, but attitude-wise, he’s more Mario Balotelli than he is Messi.

Andy Leech
Writes about sport and the general idiocy of the human race. Once read a George Orwell book and now understands life.

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