Can Messi match Ronaldo’s international record?

It doesn’t matter which side of the fence you sit on, there’s no denying the fact that Ronaldo has more career goals than Messi. With 716 career goals to Messi’s 689, it looks increasingly likely that Ronaldo will stay comfortably ahead until the day he retires. But with international retirement almost certain to come in the next few years, the question is – can Messi match Ronaldo’s potentially record-breaking haul at international level?

Unfortunately for the Argentine, the fact is that Ronaldo isn’t done with Portugal. With two possible tournaments left before he hangs up his boots, CR7 may even break the world record yet. Of course a lot of that depends on luck with injuries and form but scoring 11 goals in the next two years is absolutely possible. We’re not sure what the odds are on him breaking the record, but if you pick yourself up some free bets with one of the major providers and you might as well take a punt on it.

Messi, on the other hand, has always had this sort of love/hate relationship with international football. He currently has 70 goals for Argentina, but with the international side perennial under-achievers, it’s entirely possible that Messi will hang up his national boots before Ronaldo does.

If Ronaldo were to achieve the not so impossible task of hitting the 110 goal mark and setting a new record, Messi would have to score a further 40 international goals to catch up. I know what you’re thinking, and yes, with Messi anything is possible, but the truth is that La Pulga isn’t as bothered by personal records as his Portuguese counterpart. Messi would trade all his goals for World Cup glory with Argentina.

However, even if Messi were of a mind to break the record and score another 40 goals before retirement, he has perhaps 30 games to do so. Yes, even if he played and scored in every match between now and the end of the 2022 World Cup, he would still be ten goals short of the record.

This is assuming that Messi retires after the 2022 World Cup. At that point he’s be approaching his 36th birthday and it’s highly unlikely that he’ll play on for the national side. Having said that, stranger things have happened. Is it possible for Messi to match Ronaldo’s international tally? Yes, of course it’s possible, but the truth is that as much as we’d love to see it happen, it’s highly unlikely.