Who scored more goals messi or ronaldo ? The Cristiano Ronaldo vs Lionel Messi stats reveal that it has been undoubtedly the biggest rivalry in modern football. Both Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have dominated world football for more than a decade now.
While Portuguese superstar Ronaldo made his professional debut for Sporting in 2002, Argentine talisman Messi took the world football by storm when he made his senior debut for La Liga giants Barcelona in 2004.
The Cristiano Ronaldo vs Lionel Messi debate first became the biggest conundrum in football during the 2007-08 season. Both the football megastars were nominated for the prestigious Ballon d’Or in 2007. Interestingly, Kaka pipped Ronaldo and Messi to claim the coveted award that year. Meanwhile, Ronaldo finished second with 277 votes while Messi came third with 255 votes.
However, after Kaka, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi would go on to dominate the Ballon d’Or in the next 10 years.
Playing for Manchester United, Ronaldo (446 votes) claimed his first Ballon d’Or in 2008 after he edged second-placed Messi (281 votes).
In 2009, former Barcelona forward Messi took his revenge as he bagged his maiden Ballon d’Or by beating Ronaldo with 250 votes.
Since then, Messi won the Ballon d’Or in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2019 and 2021. On the other hand, Ronaldo clinched the Ballon d’Or in 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017.
In his illustrious career, Cristiano Ronaldo has represented five clubs namely Sporting Lisbon, Manchester United, Real Madrid, Juventus and Al-Nassr FC. Ronaldo has netted 706 club goals and provided 225 assists in 954 appearances so far.
Lionel Messi, on the other hand, spent most of his professional career at Barcelona before moving to Paris Saint-Germain. During his career, Messi has scored 704 club goals in just 860 matches. He has also recorded 333 assists.
Cristiano Ronaldo holds the record for the most goals in the UEFA Champions League. Ronaldo has scored a staggering 140 goals in 183 appearances in Europe’s biggest football competition so far. Along with 140 goals, the former Manchester United footballer has registered 48 assists.
Cristiano Ronaldo vs Lionel Messi rivalry was at its peak during their stay in La Liga. Real Madrid’s Ronaldo and their arch-rival FC Barcelona’s Messi competed for club titles and personal awards between 2009 and 2018.
Cristiano Ronaldo also holds the record for the most goals in international football. Having represented the Portugal national football team since making debut in 2003, Ronaldo has scored 118 goals in 196 appearances along with providing 43 assists so far.
Meanwhile, Lionel Messi is the leading goalscorer in international football from South America. Playing for the Argentina national football team, Messi has scored 98 goals in 172 appearances. He has also recorded 55 assists so far.
Cristiano Ronaldo made his FIFA World Cup debut for Portugal in their 1-0 win over Angola at the RheinEnergieStadion in Cologne, Germany in 2006. During their second group D match, Ronaldo converted a penalty kick to score his first World Cup goal against Iran.
Since then, Ronaldo has appeared in four more FIFA World Cups in 2010, 2014, 2018 and 2022. He has scored eight goals and provided two assists in 22 matches so far.
On the other hand, Lionel Messi became the youngest player to represent Argentina when he came on as a substitute against Serbia and Montenegro during a FIFA World Cup match in 2006. He scored a goal as well as registered an assist in their 6-0 win.
Messi also played a major role for Argentina in four more editions of the FIFA World Cup in 2010, 2014, 2018 and 2022. The Rosario-born footballer has netted 13 goals and recorded eight assists in 26 World Cup appearances so far.
While Messi reached the 2014 FIFA World Cup final before losing 0-1 to Germany, Ronaldo reached the Round of 16 with Portugal in the 2010 and 2018 editions. Messi won the FIFA World Cup in Qatar in 2022.
However, Lionel Messi has won more trophies than Cristiano Ronaldo across various football competitions for club and country. While Messi has claimed 42 trophies in his career, Ronaldo has clinched 34 titles so far.
Messi’s 42 trophies include ten La Liga titles, seven Copa del Rey titles, four UEFA Champions Leagues and the Copa America title. Meanwhile, Ronaldo’s trophy cabinet comprises seven league titles, five UEFA Champions Leagues, and the UEFA European Championship.
Messi vs Ronaldo: Goals
Perhaps the category that both of these players are best known for, let’s first take a look to both Messi and Ronaldo’s goal totals while playing in Europe.
With all strikes accounted for, it’s the Argentinian who just edges out his playing rival for top spot.
Making his debut for Barcelona back in 2004, he went on to net 672 times for the Catalan club in 778 appearances before adding another 32 goals to his overall tally at PSG.
That means that Messi’s total sits at 704 goals when playing in Europe.
Conversely, Ronaldo started out his career with boyhood club Sporting CP in his native Portugal. After coming off the bench for his competitive debut in August 2002, the winger scored five times for the club before sealing a big move to Manchester United.
In England he added 118 goals in 292 outings for the club before transferring to La Liga side Real Madrid for a world-record sum at the time. It was with the Galacticos that his goalscoring form stepped up another level, returning a stunning 450 finishes in 438 club appearances.
After his stint in the Spanish capital, Ronaldo moved on to Juventus, scoring 101 times in 134 outings in Turin before a sensational return to Manchester United materialised.
In his second spell for the Red Devils he finished his European club journey, adding a further 27 strikes to his overall tally before his relationship with the club soured and he moved to Al Nassr as a result in January 2023.
Messi vs Ronaldo: Assists
Just like on the goal front, Messi also wins out when looking at assists recorded by the pair while playing in Europe.
Regarded by some as the greatest playmaker of his generation, the Argentine star managed to record 303 assists through his 853 total club appearances for Barcelona and PSG combined.
For his four clubs on the other hand, Ronaldo managed to record 203 assists across 949 outings — a considerably lower average per game than Messi.
Interestingly, Ronaldo does beat out Messi in this category when looking at certain competitions. For instance, the Portuguese did record 41 assists to Messi’s 40 assists in the Champions League, though he did play substantially more matches.
Messi vs Ronaldo: Trophies
Again, like with goals and assists, Messi holds more club honours when playing in Europe than Ronaldo.
Winning 12 league titles, the Argentinian has also won the Champions League four times and has seven domestic honours to his name. Overall, his total when looking at club trophies stands at 38 in Europe.
Both players also have international titles to their names, although Messi also runs out victor when accounting for major honours in this department.
The Argentinian won both the 2021 Copa America and 2022 World Cup, whereas Ronaldo has the 2016 European Championship title to his name.
Messi vs Ronaldo: Personal awards
Across the history of football, we’ve never seen a continued tussle like the one involving Messi and Ronaldo that has played out over the last 20 years in Europe.
For instance, their stranglehold on the Ballon d’Or award has held firm since 2008, with only two other individual players (Luka Modric and Karim Benzema) ever winning that title since. When only focusing on that title, Messi’s 7 Ballon d’Or trophies edge out Ronaldo’s tally of five — no other player in history has won more than three.
In terms of golden boot awards across Europe’s top five leagues, Messi has finished as the league’s top scorer on eight occasions, compared to Ronaldo’s five times. That said, the Portugal international managed that feat across three separate competitions which is impressive with Manchester United, Real Madrid and Juventus.
Overall when looking at major UEFA honours, Ronaldo takes the plaudits with four awards (1x UEFA Club Footballer of the Year, 2x UEFA Best Player in Europe, 1x UEFA Men’s Player of the Year) compared to Messi’s three (1x UEFA Club Footballer of the Year, 2x UEFA Best Player in Europe).
Messi vs Ronaldo: Transfer fees
Such has been his stardom over his career, Ronaldo has moved for some eye-watering sums of money from club to club.
Looking back to the beginning of his career, he moved from an early age from Sporting to Manchester United for €19million before then swapping Old Trafford for a then record fee of €94million for Real Madrid in 2009.
Another block buster move to Juventus materialised in 2018, costing the Italian club €117million before he moved back to the Red Devils for €17million.
That brings his career transfer fees to a combined €247million.
On the other hand, despite being one of the greatest footballers in history, Messi has never moved for a transfer fee.
His high-profile move from Barcelona to PSG came after his contract had expired, while his move to Inter Miami from the Ligue 1 side will also come as a free transfer move.
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