Cristiano Ronaldo versus Lionel Messi – Who is better and should be crowned the GOAT? This has been the biggest football debate after the Maradona and Pele era.
The argument about who the greatest footballer of all time (GOAT) is between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo may never be fully resolved long after the footballers retire from the game.
In actuality, the debate might go for several years, leaving an indelible effect on the development of the beautiful game.
The perspectives of the biggest personalities in football can provide us some insight into who might be the best, even though we may never be able to tie a tidy little bow around the issue.
The Messi-Ronaldo rivalry, sometimes known as the Ronaldo-Messi rivalry, is a football rivalry between Argentine footballer Lionel Messi and Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo, primarily because they were born in the same era and have similar records and levels of athletic accomplishments.
Together, they set numerous records in the sport, which helped them to become two of the greatest players ever as a result.
Ronaldo vs Messi: Who is better?
With a combined 71 major titles (Messi 35, Ronaldo 37) won during their professional careers to date, they are two of the most accomplished footballers ever. They frequently break the 50-goal mark in a single season.
They are two of the eight players with over 700 goals scored for club and country combined. The record for the most goals scored in a career is held by Ronaldo.
Club and country allegiances can skew opinions, and personalities can affect how well a player is viewed, with most people having a clear idea of who they would choose.
Using club goals, club assists, Champions League, World Cup, international caps, titles won, and individual accolades, we will compare Ronaldo and Messi here.
But before that, lets look at which of them was better in 2015 and 2022…
Ronaldo and Lionel Messi 2015
Real Madrid defeated Atletico Madrid to win the record-tying 11th European Cup, and Cristiano Ronaldo was the match’s MVP.
The teams required penalties to separate them in Milan, and despite playing quietly throughout the game, the Portuguese scored the decisive one.
In the same season, Lionel Messi also had much to celebrate as Barcelona won the La Liga and Copa del Rey double.
Whether they like it or not, the two rivals are constantly compared to one another, and this season has been no exception. But what do the statistics say?
For Real Madrid in the 2015–16 season, Ronaldo has 51 goals in all competitions, whereas Messi has 41—ten fewer than his adversary.
Ronaldo’s 51 goals for Real Madrid in the 2015–16 season came in just 48 games, giving him a goal to game ratio of 1.06. In contrast, Messi has a ratio of 0.84 after scoring 41 goals in 49 games.
In the 2015–16 season, Messi scored three hat tricks, but Ronaldo scored an amazing six, including four against Celta Vigo and Malmo and five against Espanyol.
In terms of assists and championships won in the 2015–16 season, Messi edged Ronaldo.
Therefore, in terms of statistics, Cristiano Ronaldo was superior to Messi in the 2015/16 season.
Ronaldo and Lionel Messi 2022
On the national and international stages, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have had outstanding careers.
It is impressive that both players, who are now in the latter stages of their careers, continue to play regularly and in the best European divisions. With their form this year, the parallels have persisted as well.
However, Messi did not find his form throughout the season. During this time, he only sored 5 goals for PSG team but joined them to celebrate the league title regardless. But in 2022, how do the two greats compare? This is how it appears;
- Games: 15
- Starts: 14
- Sub appearances: 1
- Goals: 8
- Assists: 0
- Penalties scored: 0
- Minutes per goal: 160.1
- Minutes per non-penalty goal: 160.1
- Minutes per goal or assist: 160.1
- Games: 14
- Starts: 13
- Sub appearances: 1
- Goals: 3
- Assists: 8
- Penalties scored: 0
- Minutes per goal: 399
- Minutes per non-penalty goal: 399
- Minutes per goal or assist: 108.8
Even though Messi won the league championship with PSG, it would seem from the statistics that Ronaldo had a better year in 2022.
|Cristiano Ronaldo||Season||Lionel Messi|
Just barely, Ronaldo has more club goals than Messi, however it should be noted that the Manchester United star has two more seasons of experience than his Argentine rival.
Over 680 club goals have been scored in total by each of them in their respective careers, with the five seasons between 2009–10 and 2014–15 proving especially fruitful as they encouraged one another to reach new heights.
While Ronaldo presently holds the advantage in terms of total goals, Messi has the advantage in terms of season average (37.9 to 35), having reached a high of 73 goals in 2011–12, however his average plummeted after a dismal first season with PSG in 2021–22.
|Cristiano Ronaldo||Season||Lionel Messi|
The difference between Messi and Ronaldo in terms of assists has grown significantly as their respective roles develop.
Champions League stats
|Cristiano Ronaldo||Champions League stat||Lionel Messi|
|0.77||Goals per game||0.8|
Ronaldo, who excelled in the competition with teams like Manchester United and Real Madrid in particular, is the all-time highest scorer in the Champions League.
In addition, Ronaldo has surpassed Iker Casillas to hold the record for the most appearances in the Champions League overall.
World Cup stats
|Cristiano Ronaldo||World Cup stat||Lionel Messi|
|0.4||Goals per game||0.3|
Ronaldo and Messi are viewed as underachievers when it comes to World Cups for the simple reason that neither player has taken home the trophy.
The hero of Portugal, Cristiano Ronaldo, has more goals and fewer appearances at the tournament, but Argentina’s Lionel Messi may claim to have advanced further after reaching the final in 2014.
Despite losing out on the tournament’s grand prize to Germany, the PSG forward took home the Golden Ball.
However, because neither has the prize, they are both irrelevant.
|Cristiano Ronaldo||Stat||Lionel Messi|
|0.62||Goals per game||0.5|
Messi and Ronaldo have comparable international histories, although Ronaldo boasts a larger number of victories, in part because his senior Portugal career began two years earlier than Messi’s with Argentina.
At Euro 2020, Ronaldo surpassed Ali Daei’s record of 109 goals for his country before breaking it with two goals against the Republic of Ireland to become the all-time leading scorer for the international team.
Although Messi recently surpassed the great Gabriel Batistuta as Argentina’s all-time leading scorer, he is well behind Ronaldo in that regard.
|Cristiano Ronaldo||Competition||Lionel Messi|
|1||European Championship / Copa America||1|
|4||Club World Cup||3|
Both Messi and Ronaldo have impressive trophy collections, although Messi has a little advantage in league titles thanks to Barcelona’s 10 La Liga championships. Ronaldo has won seven league championships, but unlike Messi, he can lay claim to have done it in three distinct nations (England, Spain, and Italy). This, in some people’s opinion, strengthens his case for the GOAT title.
Because of his passion for the Champions League and his nickname “Mr. Champions League,” Ronaldo enjoys an advantage over Messi in that league. The Manchester United player has also achieved a great deal for Portugal on the international scene, winning the UEFA Nations League and the European Championship.
On the other hand, Messi has experienced a great deal of heartache with Argentina, who have had four disastrous Copa America campaigns, three of which resulted in a loss in the championship game. Before going on to win the 2022 Finalissima, after winning the Copa in 2021. Messi has an Olympic gold medal, but neither have taken home the World Cup yet.
|Cristiano Ronaldo||Award||Lionel Messi|
|2||The Best FIFA Men’s Player||1|
|4||European Golden Shoe||6|
|World Cup Golden Ball||1|
|4||UEFA Player of the Year||3|
|14||FIFPro World XI||14|
|4||Player of the Year (league)||6|
For the past ten years and more, Ronaldo and Messi’s duel has been the defining aspect of modern football.
Messi moved ahead of the Portugal captain in the Ballon d’Or stakes when he won his sixth in 2019 and with his seventh in 2021.
Although Ronaldo has earned more UEFA Player of the Year awards and FIFA’s new “The Best” honours, Messi has received more league Player of the Year honors. It goes without saying that Ronaldo has been recognized as Player of the Year in England, Spain, and Italy.
The fact that both players have appeared on the FIFPro World XI 14 times shows how closely contested the race has been. Messi has won the European Golden Shoe a record six times, two more than Ronaldo, and is narrowly ahead of his adversary overall.
I’m confident that after reading this article, you can decide which, out of Ronaldo and Messi, you believe is deserving of the title of “GOAT.”
Please feel free to add your thoughts in the comment section below…