Lionel Messi versus Cristiano Ronaldo who is better is the biggest conundrum in football for the best part of last 15 years. Unlike Pele vs Maradona who played in different eras, Ronaldo Vs Messi rivalry is unique world of sports considering they burst on to world stage around the same time. As move to the business end of 2021/22 season both Ronaldo and Messi are heading towards twilight of their careers and this maybe is the right time to look back and see which one of them is the GOAT of football.
Lionel Messi Vs Cristiano Ronaldo
who is greatest between them, and has a greater legacy than other? the time came to settle the things down. Will be the Argentinian prince came on top? or the Super Human of Portugal snatch the win?. Here we bring the complete analysis of their career and based on the below-mentioned factors We compare them both in a number of different categories and let you decide the overall winner.
Factors | Categories
- Overall career stats
- All-Time Club stats
- Who scores more goals and assists?
- Who’s the best at heading?
- Won more individual awards?
- Who has won more trophies?
- Who has more records?
- Who’s better at international level?
- Head to head wins?
- Ronaldo Vs Messi La Liga stats
Overall Career Stats
Leo Messi | Leo Messi so far in his career (National+ Club level) has played 958 games. In 958 career games, he scored 759 goals and Provide assists in 323 matches. He has a Goal contribution in every 72 mins. Meanwhile, he has per goal contribution in 103 min.
Cristiano Ronaldo | Ronaldo so far in his career (National+ Club level) has played 1107 games. In 1107 career games, he scored 804 goals and Provide assists in 229 matches. He has a Goal contribution (G+A) every 87 mins. Meanwhile, he has per goal contribution in 112 min.
Verdict | Despite playing 149 fewer games, Leo Messi is only 45 goals behind Ronaldo. Meanwhile, he has a better goal + Assist ratio and Goal per min. Moreover, Leo despite 149 fewer matches, has provided more assists (323) than Him. That gives Messi an edge over his Rival as a complete football player.
Best Goal Scorer?
Messi and Ronaldo both scored a goal every 85 minutes in all competitions. The adjacency of their goalscoring – matching each other blow for blow – has been astounding over the years.
Leo Messi | Messi has goals per game ratio of 0.79 and he scores a goal every 103 minutes.
Cristiano Ronaldo | Ronaldo has a goal per game ratio of 0.73 and he scored a goal every 112 minutes.
Verdict | Over their entire careers, it’s Messi who has an edge over the Goal scoring ratio. Ronaldo still has more all-time career goals than Messi though (Ronaldo has 804 career goals and Messi has 759 career goals), but Ronaldo has played 149 more games over his career than Messi has. Although Messi shades the overall ratio.
Best Assist ratio
Leo Messi | Messi has racked up an impressive 323 assists in 958 career appearances.
Cristiano Ronaldo | Ronaldo has racked up 229 assists in 1107 games. However, Ronaldo has more champions league assists (41) than Messi (35).
Verdict | When it comes to assists, there’s only one winner. Lionel Messi’s playmaking abilities are right up there with the very best, and he has the numbers to prove it.
Who’s the best at heading
Leo Messi | In his entire career, scoring from the head is not his most impressive skill. In 958 appearances, Messi scored just 26 headers.
Cristiano Ronaldo | Cristiano has scored 139 headers in 1107 appearances in his entire career. Moreover, since 2009/10 UCL, he won 705 aerial duels.
Verdict | Cristiano is miles ahead in aerial skills.
Won more individual awards
The individual battle between Ronaldo and Messi has been the defining feature of modern football for the past decade and more.
Leo Messi | Messi went ahead of Ronaldo in the Ballon d’Or stakes when he won his sixth in 2019 and cemented his superior status in that field with his seventh in 2021. He has 7 Ballon d’Ors and 6 golden shoes.
Cristiano Ronaldo | Ronaldo has 5 Ballon d’Or and 4 golden shoe awards to his name. However, he has 4 UEFA player of the year award.
Verdict | Despite the Ballon d’Or wins, Messi has won more league Player of the Year accolades. Messi has got his hands on the European Golden Shoe a record six times, which is two more than Ronaldo and is marginally ahead of his rival overall,
|Cristiano Ronaldo||Award||Lionel Messi|
|2||The Best FIFA Men’s Player||1|
|4||European Golden Shoe||6|
|0||World Cup Golden Ball||1|
|4||UEFA Player of the Year||3|
|14||FIFPro World XI||14|
|4||Player of the Year (league)||6|
Who has won more trophies?
Leo Messi | In terms of trophies, Messi has the overall lead, with 38 trophies (including Messi’s 2008 Olympic triumph and 2005 U-20 World Cup). In terms of frequency, Messi has won 44% of the senior competitions he has
Cristiano Ronaldo | In terms of trophies, Ronaldo has 34 trophies. In terms of frequency Ronaldo has won 39% of senior competitions played.
Verdict | Messi has 10 league titles to Ronaldo’s 7, but Ronaldo has the ascendancy in terms of Champions League as he won 5 trophies while Messi has 4. Overall Messi has more Number of trophies.
|Cristiano Ronaldo||Competition||Lionel Messi|
|1||European Championship / Copa America||1|
|1||UEFA Nations League||0|
|4||Club World Cup||3|
|3||UEFA Super Cup||3|
|7||Domestic Super Cup||8|
Who has more records
Messi and Ronaldo have a similar number of records to their name. The most startling record for Messi is his Guinness World Record for scoring 91 goals in a calendar year in 2012. Cristiano Ronaldo’s best goal-scoring year is 69.
Ronaldo however dominates the Champions League record books, with most goals, most assists, most free-kick goals, most hat-tricks (shared with Messi), and most goals in a single season.
Messi holds many European records at the domestic level, with the most league goals scored in a single season (50 goals), and most consecutive league matches scored in world football (21 matches, 33 goals). He has the most goal scored for a single club, 660 league goals, breaking Pele’s record.
At the International level, Ronaldo is the all-time top scorer with 115 goals, whilst Messi is the highest-scoring South American of all time with 80 goals.
Who’s better at international level?
Ronaldo and Messi have similar records at the international level, though Ronaldo boasts greater numbers, partly because his senior Portugal career kicked off two years before Messi’s senior career with Argentina.
Leo Messi | Messi is Argentina’s all-time top scorer with 80 goals in 158 appearances. He has the most goals for a South America Player. Messi scores a goal every 163 minutes for Argentina and if you add assists then Messi makes a goal contribution every 103 minutes.
In terms of the individual awards for the national team, Messi has won the World Cup Golden Ball (2014) and the Copa America Golden Ball twice (2015 & 2021). He also scooped the Golden Boot award at Copa America 2021.
Cristiano Ronaldo | Ronaldo is Portugal’s all-time top scorer with 115 goals in 184 appearances. He equaled Ali Daei’s record of 109 international goals at Euro 2020 and then surpassed it with two goals against the Republic of Ireland, becoming the top international goalscorer of all time.
Ronaldo scores a goal every 127 minutes for Portugal and if you add assists then Ronaldo makes a goal contribution every 100 minutes. In terms of the individual awards for the national team. Ronaldo won the Euro 2021 Golden Boot for the top scorer, as well as the Silver Boot at Euro 2016 for scoring the 2nd most goals in the tournament.
|Cristiano Ronaldo||Stats||Lionel Messi|
|0.6||Goals per game||0.5|
|127||Mins per goal||163|
|100||Mins per goal contribution||103|
Head to head wins
Both players came head to head in 35 games. The majority of Matches came when Ronaldo was in Real Marid. In 35 games, Messi scored 22 goals and gives 12 assists. Meanwhile, Cristiano Ronaldo scores 19 goals and gives a single assists in 35 games.
|Cristiano Ronaldo||Stat||Lionel Messi|
|0.54||Goals per game||0.62|
|155||Mins per goal||133|
|147||Mins per goal contribution||92|
While Both Played in Spain
Ronaldo join La Liga in summer 2009. Better to continue, his 9 season stay at Los blanco is considered the peak of his career. In those years, he broke many records and won individuals awards.
Leo Messi established to become a complete player when Cristiano joined him in La Liga. It will be not wrong to say that the Two Goats rivalry were started back then.
In overall numbers, Messi has a clear advantage over Cristiano Ronalado. Although Ronaldo has more goals but he has played 149 more games, and his career started two seasons ahead of him. At the end of career, scenario will be change.
But lets compare Messi and Ronaldo base on the time, both players spend in the league.
|Cristiano Ronaldo||Stats 2009-2018||Lional Messi|
|1.03||Per game Goals||0.99|
|371||Goals without penalties||416|
|84 min||Scores every min||85′16″min|
|66’26” min||Mins per goal contribution||62′07” min|
|3||European Golden Boot||5|
|3||Pichichi (La Liga Top scorer)||5|
Both are greatest of the game. Leo Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo will always be remember for the total domination over football. Winning ballon d’Or for 10 years between them, is an achievement hat no player can repeat.
Now base on the above data, Head-to-Head record and La Liga span, Messi is ahead of him. In overall and UCl stats, Cristinao is ahead of him. But in both cases he has played more number of games then Leo.