1. Messi is part of a team. Football is a team sport, not an individual effort. It may sound simple, but it is a fact that is being overlooked, especially in ceremonies like the Ballon d’Or, which hands an award to a single player. Ronaldo might be an awesome freak of nature, but like Zlatan Ibrahimovic would probably not fit in the best team in the world, because unlike Messi he is not built to blend in.
2. Football is a game of teamwork, cohesion, of finding the right balance between sacrificing one’s personal skill and ambitions to the betterment of the team. Messi understands that better than Ronaldon. It is because he was formed to fit a structure, and not to be the ultimate action hero like the Portuguese.
3. Messi is a humble servant of a system that makes him great. He knows he wouldn’t have become such a great player without knowing exactly how Xavi likes to pass the ball, and understanding exactly how Cesc Fabregas and Andres Iniesta likes to receive the pass. Ronaldo will never be able to form such partnerships, which are the most important part of the game.
4. Ronaldo tends to get frustrated a lot during games. He tends to show it too, and that adds pressure on his teammates’ shoulders. Messi is less likely to show he is cracking under pressure. He often reacts to near-misses and misunderstandings with a smile. This trait makes him easier to play with.
5. Messi won more titles because he is a better teammate than Ronaldo. The team makes him stronger as an individual. It is what makes him the great player he is. He understands that he might win games on his own, but titles are won by the team.