Cristiano Ronaldo vs Lionel Messi: Decoding the statistical comparison
Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have dominated the numbers in football for the last 16 years. These two are the GOATS of this generation and arguably one of the best since football's inception. One-man club Messi has been plying his trade at Barcelona, whereas, Ronaldo has achieved success in three top European destinations. Here we decode their statistical comparison.
Ronaldo, who started his career at Lisbon, went on to play for Manchester United, Real Madrid, and Juventus. CR7 has notched 674 goals in 896 matches. Messi started his senior club career in the 2004-05 season, whereas, Ronaldo started his career in top-flight football in 2002-03. Messi has amassed 672 goals in 778 matches for the Spanish club.
Ronaldo has lifted 30 career club trophies. He enjoyed most success at Real, winning 15 trophies. Notably, Ronaldo has more UCL trophies (5) than Messi. Messi has won a staggering 34 trophies at Barcelona. He has lifted 10 La Liga titles, 7 Copa del Rey honors, 7 Spanish Super Cups, 4 Champions Leagues, 3 UEFA Super Cups, and 3 FIFA Club World Cups.
In terms of hat-tricks (club and international), Ronaldo (57) pips Messi (54). They are the joint-highest in terms of hat-tricks in the UCL (8). In domestic leagues, Ronaldo has 37 to Messi's 36. Messi has three in Copa del Rey, one in Spanish Super Cup, and six for Argentina. Ronaldo has nine for Portugal, two in the domestic cup and one in Club World Cup.
Messi has won the prestigious Ballon d'Or a record six times, whereas, Ronaldo has pocketed five. Messi has bagged six European Golden Shoe awards, whereas, Ronaldo has won four. Ronaldo has won The Best FIFA Men's Player twice. Meanwhile, Messi has won it once. Both players have bagged one FIFA World Player of the Year each (Ronaldo in 2008 and Messi in 2009).
Ronaldo has amassed 134 goals in the UEFA Champions League, whereas, Messi has 120 to his name. Notably, Messi has scored all his UCL goals for Barca. Ronaldo is the only other player to amass 100-plus goals for a single club (105 for Real Madrid).
For the country, CR7 has more success as compared to Messi. In 179 matches for Portugal, Ronaldo has scored 109 goals. Whereas, Messi has 76 goals in 151 matches for Argentina. Ronaldo has won the UEFA European Championship with Portugal in 2016 and the UEFA Nations League in 2018-19. Messi recently won the 2021 Copa America title with Argentina, beating Brazil in the final.