HomeAthletesLionel Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo – The Quest for Football’s Greatest
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Lionel Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo – The Quest for Football’s Greatest

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Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are undoubtedly two of the greatest footballers of all time. They have dominated the sport for over a decade, and their rivalry is one of the most iconic in sporting history. While for many, the dispute was settled on December 18, 2022, when Messi lifted the World Cup triumphantly, for some it is still up for debate, and for many others, the opinion is that there is no emulating the career and greatness of Cristiano Ronaldo.

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Irrespective of whoever is considered the greatest, there is no shadow of a doubt that the rivalry that exists between the two is like none other. Two titans of the game, each a true master in their own regards, clashing, looking to better one another; in the truest of sense, it doesn’t get any better than this. A rivalry that is undoubtedly one for the ages, it is entirely possible that we may never see two formidable talents go toe-to-toe like this again.

The two players have faced each other 36 times in their careers, with Messi having a slight edge in the win percentage. The first encounter dates back to Champions League, when Ronaldo was still a Manchester United player in his first stint there back in 2008. The game ended with a draw. However, Manchester went on to win in the next leg. But the Catalan side took their revenge when they beat Sir Alex Ferguson’s side in the Champions League final the following year. This prompted Ronaldo’s move to Real Madrid.

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The two of them would spend the next nine years in the Premier Spanish League (La Liga) where they would also face each other numerous times. That was before Ronaldo left the league first, with a move to Juventus.


Also Read:  Jaw-Dropping Football Facts That Will Amaze You

As of now, when it comes to wins and better win percentage, Messi has the slight edge, him leading with 16 to Ronaldo’s 11. However, it goes without saying that they both have had their fair share of goal involvements throughout the years. 

Lionel Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo: Head-to-Head stats

Ronaldo vs Messi | KreedOn
Image Source- British GQ

 Lionel Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo: Overall stats

Lionel Messi Matches Played Goals Assists
Club 866 715 308
Country 176 104 53
Cristiano Ronaldo Matches Played Goals Assists
Club 985 732 209
Country 201 123 33

When it comes to football, it must be kept in mind that statistics only tell a fraction of the story. Messi and Ronaldo are a prime example of that. Their influence on their team is evident, and it surely doesn’t always go unnoticed.

Lionel Messi Achievements

Lionel Messi Achievements | KreedOn
Lionel Messi, Image Source- FIFpro

Team | Individual

  • FIFA: Best Men’s Player (2019, 2009)
  • Ballon d’Or (2023, 2021, 2019, 2015, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009)
  • UEFA: Best Player in Europe (2015, 2011, 2009)
  • 3x FIFA Club World Cup
  • 2x World Cup Golden Ball winner (2014, 2022)
  • 1x Copa America (International)
  • 4x Champions League winner
  • 10x La Liga Champion
  • 1x Ligue 1 Champion
  • 3x UEFA Super Cup winner
  • 7x Spanish Cup winner
  • 8x Spanish Super Cup winner
  • 1x French Cup winner
  • 1x French Super Cup winner
  • 1x U20 World Cup winner
  • 1x Olympic Gold Medalist
  • 1x CONMEBOL UEFA Cup of Champions winner (International)

Cristiano Ronaldo Achievements

lionel-messi-vs-cristiano-ronaldo | KreedOn
Cristiano Ronaldo, Image Source- Goal.com

Team | Individual

  • FIFA: Best Men’s Player (2017, 2016)
  • Ballon d’Or (2017, 2016, 2014, 2013, 2009)
  • UEFA: Best Player in Europe (2017, 2016, 2014, 2008)
  • Puskas Award Winner (2009)
  • 1x European Champion (International) 
  • 5x Champions League winner 
  • 4x FIFA Club World Cup winner
  • 3x Premier League winner
  • 2x Spanish Champion
  • 2x Italian Champion
  • 1x UEFA Nations League winner (International)
  • 1x UEFA Super Cup winner
  • 1x FA Cup winner
  • 2x Spanish Cup winner
  • 2x English Cup winner
  • 2x Italian Super Cup winner
  • 2x Community Shield winner
  • 1x Portuguese Super Cup winner

Lionel Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo – Some memorable head-to-head clashes

  • 2009 UEFA Champions League Final

Barcelona defeated Manchester United 2-0 in the 2009 UEFA Champions League Final, with Messi scoring both goals. It was a dominant performance from Barcelona, and it was a sign of things to come for Messi and Ronaldo’s rivalry.

  • 2011 Copa del Rey Final

Real Madrid defeated Barcelona 1-0 in the 2011 Copa del Rey Final, with Ronaldo scoring the winning goal. It was a closely contested match, and it was a sign of how competitive the rivalry between Messi and Ronaldo was.

  • 2012 La Liga

Real Madrid defeated Barcelona 2-1 in the 2012 La Liga title decider, with Ronaldo scoring the winning goal. It was a heartbreaking defeat for Barcelona, but it was a sign of Ronaldo’s growing status as one of the best players in the world.

  • 2015 UEFA Champions League Semi-Final

Barcelona defeated Bayern Munich 5-3 on aggregate in the 2015 UEFA Champions League Semi-Final, with Messi scoring two goals in the second leg. It was a masterclass from Messi, and it was a sign of his ability to perform at the highest level.

  • 2017 UEFA Champions League Quarter-Final

Real Madrid defeated Juventus 4-3 on aggregate in the 2017 UEFA Champions League Quarter-Final, with Ronaldo scoring two goals in the second leg. It was a thrilling tie, and it was a sign of the excitement that Messi and Ronaldo’s rivalry brought to the game.

Lionel Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo – Who is better?

This is a question that has been debated by football fans for many years. There is no definitive answer, as both players are incredible in their own right.

Messi is a more natural talent, while Ronaldo is a more physical player. Lionel Messi is a better dribbler and passer, while Cristiano Ronaldo is a better finisher. Messi is a more complete player, while Ronaldo is more of a goal scorer.

Ultimately, it is up to each individual to decide who they think is better. There is no right or wrong answer.

Conclusion

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are two of the greatest footballers of all time. They have dominated the sport for over a decade, and their rivalry is one of the most iconic in sporting history.

Messi has a slight edge in the head-to-head stats, but both players have had their fair share of success against each other. It is a rivalry that has produced some of the most memorable moments in football history.


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FAQ

Who is better Ronaldo or Messi?

Ronaldo holds an impressive record for international goals and appearances, while Messi has garnered a higher number of Ballon d’Or awards, totaling eight in his illustrious career.

Who is considered the greatest football player of all time, Messi or Ronaldo?

The title of “greatest football player of all time” is subjective and varies based on personal opinions and criteria for greatness. Both Messi and Ronaldo have left an indelible mark on the sport and are considered among the greatest players of their generation.

Who won more Messi or Ronaldo?

Lionel Messi has secured a greater number of trophies in diverse football competitions for both club and country when compared to Cristiano Ronaldo.

Who is the king of football in 2023?

As of 2023, Lionel Messi maintains his lead in the rankings by surpassing Ronaldo in the combined tally of Ballon d’Or, FIFA World Player of the Year, and The Best FIFA Men’s Player awards.

Which clubs have Messi and Ronaldo played for?

Messi has primarily played for FC Barcelona, PSG and later moved to Inter Miami. Ronaldo has played for several top clubs including Manchester United, Real Madrid, Juventus, and later moved to Al Nassr.

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