Ronaldo vs Messi: Decoding their international career in numbers
Cristiano Ronaldo has gone clear of Ali Daei's record for the most number of goals scored in international football. The Portuguese legend steered clear of Daei in his side's 2-1 win over the Republic of Ireland in a World Cup qualifying match. Meanwhile, Lionel Messi recently won Copa America with Argentina. Here we decode their international career in numbers.
Ronaldo leads with 111 goals in men's international football
Ronaldo scored two late headers for Portugal against the Republic of Ireland after having earlier missed a penalty. The 2-1 win sees Portugal top the show in Group A. Interestingly, Daei had scored 109 goals for Iran between 1993 and 2006. Ronaldo equaled Daei's record at the Euro 2020 this year. These two are the only players with 90-plus international goals.
Messi has 76 goals for Argentina
Messi has appeared in 151 matches for Argentina, scoring a total of 76 goals. He is the joint-eighth highest scorer in men's international football. Notably, Messi needs two goals to surpass the legendary Pele (77). Messi is also the top scorer for Argentina. However, Messi is 35 goals short of Ronaldo, who has made 180 appearances for Portugal.
Decoding the goals they have bagged across events
Messi has six goals at the FIFA World Cup, whereas, Ronaldo has bagged seven. Messi has 34 goals in friendlies as Ronaldo has scored 19. Messi has 13 goals in Copa America. Ronaldo has 14 European Championship goals, and 31 in qualifiers. He has five in the Nations League, and two in the Confederations Cup. World Cup Qualifiers: Ronaldo (33 goals), Messi (23 goals).
Messi and Ronaldo's favorite opponents in international football
Messi's three favorite opponents in international football have been Ecuador (6). He has also scored five goals against the likes of Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay. Ronaldo has netted seven goals each against Lithuania and Sweden. He has also scored six goals against Luxembourg, Hungary, and Andorra. Ronaldo has scored against 45 different international opponents, whereas, Messi has done so against 29 teams.
Records held by Messi in international football
Messi has the record for most major tournament Best Player awards in history: 3 (World Cup 2014, Copa America 2015, Copa America 2021). He also has the record for most Man of the Match awards at a single World Cup campaign - 4 in 2014. He has the most Man of the Match awards at a single Copa America - 4 in 2021.
Notable stats of the two legends (international football)
Ronaldo has bagged nine international hat-tricks, whereas, Messi has six. CR7 has helped Portugal with 31 assists. Messi has a better record (47 assists). Ronaldo has been in three major finals with Portugal, winning two trophies. Messi has been in five finals, winning just one.