Messi vs Ronaldo Detailed Comparison - Who Reigns Supreme?

1 year ago

The debate over the best football player has been raging for decades, but in recent years, two names have dominated the conversation: Messi vs Ronaldo. Both players have succeeded on the field, breaking records and winning countless trophies. But the question remains: who reigns supreme? Dive into this article to know the answer!

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Messi vs Ronaldo Comparisons

There are many factors to consider when comparing these two football icons. In this section, we will delve into the various aspects of their careers to answer the age-old question: Messi or Ronaldo, who is truly the greatest?

On Style of Play

Lionel Messi is known for his incredible dribbling skills, often compared to Diego Maradona's. Messi has an uncanny ability to weave past defenders easily, and his close control of the ball is second to none. He is also known for his excellent vision and passing ability, which allows him to create scoring opportunities for his teammates. In addition, Messi is a master at free-kicks and has scored many spectacular goals from set pieces throughout his career.

Cristiano Ronaldo, on the other hand, is known for his speed, strength, and incredible athleticism. He is a powerful runner with the ball and can get past defenders with his physicality and skill. Ronaldo is also a great ball header and has scored many goals from crosses and corners. He is known for his deadly accuracy in front of goals and the ability to score from almost any position on the pitch.

Related post: Thiago Messi profile

Messi and Ronaldo are incredibly talented footballers, but their playing styles are quite different. Messi's strengths lie in his close control of the ball, dribbling skills, and ability to create scoring opportunities for his teammates. His weakness, however, may be his physicality, as he is not as strong as Ronaldo.

Meanwhile, Ronaldo's strengths are his speed, strength, and athleticism, as well as his deadly accuracy in front of the goal. But he tends to rely on his physicality rather than his skill, which can sometimes lead to him losing possession of the ball.

On Personal Achievements

Both players have enjoyed remarkable careers that have seen them shatter records, win numerous trophies, and accumulate a plethora of personal achievements. This article will focus on Messi vs Ronaldo stats.

#1. Club goals

Cristiano Ronaldo

Season Lionel Messi
5 2002-03 -
6 2003-04 -
9 2004-05 1
12 2005-06 8
23 2006-07 17
42 2007-08 16
26 2008-09 38
33 2009-10 47
53 2010-11 53
60 2011-12 73
55 2012-13 60
51 2013-14 41
61 2014-15 58
51 2015-16 41
42 2017-18 45
28 2018-19 51
37 2019-20 31
36 2020-21 38
24 2021-22 11
14 2022-23 20
712 Total 703

Regarding Messi vs Ronaldo goal in their clubs, Ronaldo has scored just slightly more club goals than Messi, with both players netting over 690 goals in their careers so far. 

Between 2009-10 and 2014-15, both players had particularly successful periods. But Messi had a higher season average of 37.9 compared to Ronaldo's 35. Messi's highest season return was 73 goals in 2011-12, while Ronaldo's was 61 in 2014-15.

Ronaldo surpassed the 50-goal mark every season for six years between 2010-11 and 2015-16. Meanwhile, Messi's rate slowed after joining PSG, although he remained consistent. In recent years, Ronaldo's seasonal totals have declined somewhat, failing to break the 30-goal mark during his first season at Juventus in 2018-19.

#2. Club assists

Cristiano Ronaldo

Season Lionel Messi
4 2002-03 -
6 2003-04 -
8 2004-05 -
8 2005-06 3
14 2006-07 3
7 2007-08 13
9 2008-09 17
8 2009-10 11
16 2010-11 23
15 2011-12 30
12 2012-13 15
14 2013-14 14
21 2014-15 27
15 2015-16 23
11 2017-18 16
8 2018-19 18
10 2019-20 19
5 2020-21 25
5 2021-22 12
3 2022-23 14
203 Total 301

As we can see from the table, Messi is much superior to Ronaldo in terms of club assists. Messi's ability to create as many goals as he scores is a significant factor in the debate over which player is the greatest of all time. While Ronaldo does contribute assists to his team, the contrast between the two players in this regard has become increasingly stark as their roles have evolved.

Messi's talent as a playmaker is undeniable, and he is widely regarded as one of the best passers in the game. He has consistently contributed a high number of assists to his team. Also, he often creates chances for his teammates with his exceptional vision and precision passing. In contrast, while Ronaldo has also provided assists throughout his career, he is generally seen as more of a goal-scorer than a playmaker.

#3. Champions League

Cristiano Ronaldo

Champions League stat Lionel Messi
183 Appearances 163
140 Goals 129
0.77 Goals per game 0.79

In terms of the Champions League, Ronaldo is the all-time leading goalscorer. He has excelled in competition with Manchester United and Real Madrid in particular. However, Messi is not far behind, with a fractionally better goal-per-game ratio. Also, he could overtake Ronaldo if he continues to perform at his current level.
Ronaldo's record of the most overall Champions League appearances is also noteworthy, overtaking Iker Casillas. Both players have had incredible success in the competition:

Ronaldo won the Champions League five times, four of which were with Real Madrid

Messi won it four times, all with Barcelona

In addition to their achievements, both players have been instrumental in their teams' successes in the competition. Ronaldo has scored crucial goals in the knockout stages and final matches. Meanwhile, Messi has provided assists and scored important goals throughout the competition.

#4. World Cup

Cristiano Ronaldo

World Cup stat Lionel Messi
22 Appearances 26
8 Goals 13
0.38 Goals per game 0.5

Until Argentina's victory in 2022, neither Ronaldo nor Messi had won the competition. However, Ronaldo had scored more goals in fewer appearances than Messi heading into the tournament.

But in Qatar, Messi turned things around and led his country to the coveted trophy with an impressive seven goals and three assists. He scored at every stage of the competition, including a brace in the final against France. It was before netting once more from 12 yards as Argentina won the title after a penalty shootout.

In contrast, Ronaldo's best World Cup performance came in 2006. Here, he led Portugal to the semi-finals before losing to France and then losing the third-place play-off against Germany.

#5. International

Cristiano Ronaldo

Stat Lionel Messi
198 International caps 174
122 International goals 102
0.62 Goals per game 0.58

Ronaldo has a more impressive international record than Messi, having become the top international goalscorer of all time by surpassing Ali Daei's record of 109 international goals. Meanwhile, Messi is Argentina's all-time leading scorer but is still far behind Ronaldo in terms of international goals. Both players have made significant contributions to their respective national teams and have been instrumental in their successes over the years.

#6. Titles

Cristiano Ronaldo

Competition Lionel Messi
0 World Cup 1
1 European Championship / Copa America 1
1 Nations League / Finalissima 1
0 Olympics 1
7 League titles 11
5 Champions League 4
4 Club World Cup 3
4 National Cups* 7
22 Total 29

Messi has won La Liga 10 times with Barcelona and Ligue 1 once with PSG. Meanwhile, Ronaldo has seven league titles in three different countries:

  • England
  • Spain
  • Italy

Ronaldo has an edge over Messi in the Champions League, having won it five times, compared to Messi's four. However, Messi has won Copa America in 2021, the Finalissima, and the 2022 World Cup with Argentina. It was after enduring heartache in four unsuccessful Copa America campaigns. Meanwhile, Ronaldo has won the European Championship and the UEFA Nations League with Portugal.

#7. Individual Awards

Cristiano Ronaldo

Award Lionel Messi
5 Ballon d'Or 7
2 The Best FIFA Men's Player 1
4 European Golden Shoe 6
0 World Cup Golden Ball 2
4 UEFA Player of the Year 3
14 FIFPro World XI 14
4 Player of the Year (league 6

Above is the comparison table of Messi vs Ronaldo trophies. While Ronaldo has won more of FIFA's new 'The Best' awards and UEFA Player of the Year accolades, Messi has won more league Player of the Year awards and has more Ballon d'Or wins, with seven compared to Ronaldo's five. 
Messi has also won the European Golden Shoe a record six times, two more than Ronaldo. However, both players have been on the FIFPro World XI 14 times, highlighting how closely fought the battle for individual accolades has been between them.

On Popularity and Fan Base

Both Messi and Ronaldo are hugely popular worldwide, with millions of fans following them on social media and supporting them in their respective clubs and countries.
In terms of social media followers, Ronaldo has a slightly larger fan base, with over 300 million followers across various platforms, including:

  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • Facebook

Messi, on the other hand, has around 120 million followers across the same platforms.

Their popularity is not only restricted to their respective countries or clubs, as they have fans from all over the world. However, it's worth noting that Ronaldo's fan base is particularly strong in Portugal, Brazil, and Asia. Meanwhile, Messi is hugely popular in his native Argentina, Spain, and South America in general.

Besides, their fame is based on their charitable work, endorsement deals, and overall persona. Both players have endorsement deals with major brands and have used their platforms to raise awareness and funds for various charitable causes.

Impact on the Game

Messi and Ronaldo's impact on the game of football cannot be overstated. Their incredible skill, work ethic, and dedication to the sport have not only inspired fans but also influenced future generations of players.

Both players have revolutionized their respective positions. Messi's dribbling and creativity set him apart as a playmaker. And Ronaldo's power, speed, and clinical finishing make him a goal-scoring machine.

Off the pitch, they have also become cultural icons, representing the sport to a global audience and transcending the game to become global superstars. Their endorsement deals, social media presence, and charitable contributions have also cemented their impact beyond the football field.

Their rivalry has fueled competition in the sport, with each player pushing the other to new heights and constantly raising the bar for excellence. Their legacy will continue to shape the game for generations to come. And their influence will be felt by future players who aspire to follow in their footsteps.


Above is our Messi vs Ronaldo comparison. Ronaldo may have an edge in certain areas such as his success in different leagues and his impressive international record. Meanwhile, Messi's dominance in individual awards, league titles, and overall impact on the game makes a strong case for him as the greatest of all time. For more posts about these players, visit!