The short answer is Messi because he’s proven to be a superbly effective player and has quite rightly been routinely described and as the best player in the world, many say the best ever.
Messi’s last two league campaigns have seen him score just under 100 goals, which are numbers that Bale can only dream of.
Granted, the overall quality of La Liga may be a little bit down on the Premier League but that is still a very special achievement and Messi’s career at Barcelona is something which will rightly see him go down in history as the best ever player.
He’s also managed to replicate that goalscoring form in the Champions League with 22 goals over his last two seasons and it’s a competition he will be given another crack at next season.
Messi has also been dealing with a completely different type of pressure to Bale, arguably a stronger form of pressure because he’s so prolific at club level.
That makes his achievements more remarkable and the experience he already shows despite just being 26-years-old makes him a banker for La Liga’s top scorer next season.
Bale’s aims and ambitions for next season are completely different and he is going to face a completely different set of challenges to the Argentinian superstar.
The first aim he has to fulfil is replicating his goalscoring form from last season which saw him net 21 goals in the Premier League.
If Bale wants to be held in that same sort of status as players like Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo then he needs to prove that he can score goals at a prolific level over a long period of time.
He will also have to contend with new tactics and new systems to mute his effectiveness which is something that Messi has been contending with for years.
Bale will be challenged by Premier League sides next season and they will try a variety of physical and more subtle ways to ensure that he can’t grab a game by the scruff of the neck as he did last season.
Messi will clearly have the better season when the new campaign gets under way but that’s not to say that Bale can’t replicate his form from last season, dragging himself into that same superstar barrier.
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How many goals do you think Messi will bag? What is Bale’s biggest challenge?