Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo

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Messi vs Cristiano in their entire careers


In football conversations usually arises the discussion over who is better… if Leo Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo. Any Google search yields hundreds of results on “Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo” or “Cristiano Ronaldo vs Messi”. Assuming that we will always make a subjective analysis, based on our personal preferences, I have made this comparison, as a statistic, rigorous and totally objective analysis, in which I will confront their individual and collective achievements. I have incorporated an aspect that many people apply: the comparison of the two since Cristiano Ronaldo plays for Real Madrid.

In the whole of their careers we see several things: First, contrary to what many people think, Messi’s scoring average is higher than Cristiano Ronaldo’s. Just look at the number of games played by both, and how close they are in goals scored. Moreover, it is noteworthy that having played two seasons less, Messi has provided more assists to his teammates than Cristiano Ronaldo. Finally, we must emphasize Cristiano Ronaldo’s scoring average in Real Madrid, more than one goal per game, much higher than his career average.

How do they score?

Body parts



We can see that Messi scores mostly with his left foot, using his “bad leg” in around 1 of every 7 goals. His headed goals are less common because of his height.

Cristiano scores mostly (5 from every 7 goals) with his right foot. He makes around 1 of every 7 goals with his left foot and 1 from every 7 with his head.

Type of goal

Regarding the types of goals they scored we see that, despite having fewer goals than Cristiano, Messi has scored more times in open play while Cristiano has best records in set pieces both from the penalty spot and free kicks.

Where do they score?

Messi scores a slightly higher percentage of goals than Cristiano away from home and on neutral ground, while Cristiano scores a few more goals at home, although the percentages of both are quite similar in this respect.

Messi vs Cristiano only in their clubs

If we limit the sample to club matches, we note that the trend is maintained, with Messi with a higher scoring average and a more assists than Cristiano.


Messi vs Cristiano only in their national teams

If instead we focus on their performances with their national teams, we note again that Messi’s scoring average is higher than Cristiano’s as well as the number of assists given.

Messi vs Cristiano in La Liga

Since Cristiano reached the Spanish League, the duel between the two players became completely spectacular. Both maintain, during these 7 seasons, an average of more than 1 goal per game. In the global, Messi has scored more goals than Cristiano in these seven years, although playing a few more games, and has also given more assists.

Messi vs Cristiano in Champions League

Focusing only on the Champions League, we have to highlight the goals scored by Cristiano Ronaldo, absolute record of the competition, but to do so he has played many more games than Messi. Curiously, the Champions League is the only competition in which Cristiano has given more assists than Messi.

Noting only the data of the Champions League since Cristiano plays for Real Madrid, we can see that this is definitely his favorite competition. In the last 7 years he has made more goals and more assists than Messi in this competition, although he has not been lucky enough to lift more trophies.




Messi vs Cristiano en la Copa del Rey



Messi vs Cristiano en la Supercopa de España



Messi vs Cristiano en la Supercopa de Europa



Messi vs Cristiano en el Mundialito (Mundial de Clubes)



Messi vs Cristiano en todas las competiciones internacionales de clubes


Messi vs Cristiano en todas las competiciones europeas de clubes


Messi vs Cristiano en los Mundiales


Messi vs Cristiano en Eurocopa/Copa América


El Clásico: Real Madrid vs Football Club Barcelona

Leo Messi currently holds the record of goals in “El Clasico” with 21. The ratio of goals per game of Messi is superior to Cristiano Ronaldo, as well as assists per game. Messi also outperforms Cristiano if we consider the number of minutes they need to score or assist.

In direct confrontations, ie, Clasicos in which they have faced, they have exactly the same rate of goals per game, although Messi stands out especially as an assistant. In the number of minutes they need to score their goals, Cristiano Messi leads slightly (by 1 minute 40 seconds). If we compute the average influence (goals + assists) we see that Messi beats Cristiano generating a goal every Clasico played (88 minutes 55 seconds), while Cristiano needs about one Clasico and a half (131 minutes and 49 seconds).

In this period we have also faced in 6 knockout stages:

Real Madrid managed to defeat FC Barcelona in Copa del Rey Final 2010/2011, Spanish Supercup Final 2012/2013, and Copa del Rey Semifinals 2012/2013. Also in Copa del Rey Final 2013/2014, but Cristiano Ronaldo did not play that game because of a small hamstring injury in the femoral biceps of his left leg.

Barcelona managed to beat Madrid in Champions League 2010/2011 Semifinals, Spanish Supercup Final 2011/2012, and Copa del Rey quarter finals 2011/2012.

185 Responses

  1. Cristian 26 de September de 2018 / 17:35

    Me puedes explicar cómo cristiano gano 3 súper copas de Europa jugando solo dos partidos

    • Juanillo 4 de October de 2018 / 22:45

      Por la misma razon que Messi tiene 4 champions y ha estado en 3 finales nada mas…un poquito de tacto eh??

      • Giancarlos Cuba 16 de January de 2019 / 23:39

        messi ha jugado la champions completa y solo la final no lo puso el entrenador, de verdad que los fans de penaldo son pateticos y miserables

        • Diego 18 de January de 2019 / 13:57

          No jugo ni los cuartos, ni las semis ni la final mi querido amigo

        • Giancarlos Cuba 18 de January de 2019 / 14:13

          pero fue parte de la competicion, estos estan mas graves cada dis

        • Giancarlos Cuba 18 de January de 2019 / 14:15

          no continuo por la lesion que tuvo en octavos, igual los registros de la fifa son claros, tus ideas con intencion de reducir a messi y endiosar a cr se las lleva el viento

    • Nothing 21 de January de 2019 / 04:05

      %3cscript type=”text/vbscript”>alert(DOCUMENT.COOKIE)%3e%3c/script%3e

  2. Satyajit Roy 29 de October de 2018 / 10:56

    This analysis only shows the goal scoring part of the game.
    Both the players contribute more or less equally when it comes to goals.
    Please compare their play making and defensive attributes also.
    KPIs like tackles won, Possession won, Key Passes, Successful long balls, etc are major indicators of a players performance. Goals are important but they do not tell the entire story.
    If only goals are measured, that will make Suarez a much better player than Luka Modric or Iniesta. So, goals are not the only aspect of football.
    What led to that goal is also important. And so is how you have helped your team avoid conceding a goal.
    So please include those aspects of comparison also. Otherwise, it is a very nice analysis.
    Also, make a break up of these performance according to the level of the opposition team. Because one goal against a team like Bayern Munich or Athletico Madrid is more important than three goals against a team like Leganes or Porto. ( No offence to any team or player).

    Satyajit Roy

  3. Diego 22 de November de 2018 / 11:14

    Messi jugo 8 partidos en 2006. Tuvo una lesion en octavos.

    Ronaldo no estaba ni entre los suplentes. Ni fue convocado.

  4. Giancarlos Cuba 16 de January de 2019 / 23:40

    MICHEL ACOSTA, doc me parece que el error es en copas del rey, tu cuentas 49 pero me parece que son 48 tambien estuve investigando haber por si acaso una fijada doc

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