The debate on who is better between Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo and Argentine forward Lionel Messi has been prevalent throughout the football realm. The two footballers have dominated competitions over the past decade and continue to display their prowess every season. Moreover, after the recently concluded European Championship and Copa America, the two players have been in the spotlight even more. Although most football fanatics may have an opinion on who they think is better, many a time, they use the wrong category to justify their claim. While things like individual personalities can cloud judgment, stats such as all top scorer wins for Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are paramount.
Furthermore, international success also plays a principal role in deciding who is truly the greatest of all time between the two football heavyweights. Although Cristiano Ronaldo has had more gameplay than his Argentine nemesis, the latter is arguably more decorated, having won more trophies. Given how much the phenomenal Portuguese and Argentine forwards have dominated the current football era, this article takes a deep dive into their careers to fish out the true MVP.
There’s no doubt that Cristiano Ronaldo has had a significant impact on every club he has been to. Similarly, Lionel Messi has been of phenomenal importance in Barcelona. Even so, Ronaldo boasts more club goals than his counterpart, albeit by a whisker. Although Ronaldo has played two more seasons than Messi, the Argentine is only two goals shy. Both players have broken the 50-goal barrier per season six times and have scored more than 670 goals for their clubs.
When it comes to assists, Messi is far more superior with 226, while Ronaldo trails with 139. For this reason, we can conclude that Messi brings higher value to his team. The fact that Messi creates chances just as much as he capitalizes on them proves that the empyrean player makes better decisions on the pitch.
Messi and Ronaldo have pretty similar international stats. Since Ronaldo has had a longer international career than Messi, he’s made more appearances for his country. Still, both players have won one major international competition with their respective nations; Ronaldo won the European Cup back in 2016 while Messi broke his deadlock in the recently concluded Copa America. Moreover, both Messi and Ronaldo are the all-time top scorers for their respective countries. However, Ronaldo has more international goals (109) than his Argentine rival (79).
Although all the other statistics play a part in this comparison, the individual battle between the two players is undoubtedly the defining feature. Messi proves superior in this category with 35 individual awards, which is three more than Ronaldo. The Ballon d’Or is arguably the most hotly contested award between the two football maestros. Messi leads with six of these prestigious awards while his Portuguese competitor follows close behind with five wins.
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are undoubtedly the most decorated players in football history. Even though there are several differences in the gameplay of the two players, there is little to separate them. On one side, Messi is a more talented and decisive player who has more influence on the overall team performance. On the other hand, Ronaldo is a more aggressive and all-rounded player.