Categories: SportsSports

Ronaldo vs Messi: The numbers compared

Al Jazeera reviews the careers of two of the most renowned footballers of their generation.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi will play their fifth and probably last World Cup in Qatar.

Messi, player of Argentina and Paris Saint-Germain, 35 years old, Announced in October that the 2022 World Cup will be the last, while Portugal and Manchester United player Ronaldo, 37, has yet to comment on his international future.

For more than a decade, the world of soccer has debated who is better. The discussion is likely to continue long after the boots are hung up.

As the two gaming giants reach the twilight of their careers, we take a look at their performances for more than 17 years playing soccer at the highest level.


Ronaldo has played 191 caps compared to Messi’s 164, before Argentina’s World Cup debut against Saudi Arabia.

The international career of the former Real Madrid star began in 2003, while Messi, who left Barcelona last year for Paris, played his first cap two years later against Hungary.

When it comes to his goalscoring record, Ronaldo is way ahead of his Argentinian rival.

The Manchester United star has scored a record 117 times. Messi has 90 goals to his name.

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Both players have significant regional competition internationally, with Ronaldo winning the European Championship in 2016 and Messi winning the Copa América in 2021.

(Al Jazeera)

world cup history

In the most prestigious event in football, Messi has played 19 games, two more than his Portuguese competitor.

Ronaldo once again leads the scoring section with seven goals, one more than Messi.

Between the two, however, only Messi has reached a World Cup final, at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. The South American soccer giants lost to Germany after extra time 1-0.

Messi had some consolation in taking home the Ballon d’Or for best performance at the World Cup in Brazil. By contrast, Ronaldo reached the semi-final stage once, in 2006.

club competition

Ronaldo has scored 701 goals in all club competitions, while Messi has 695, making them the top scorers at club level in football history.

But the Portuguese has played 100 more games than Messi, giving the latter a better games-per-goal average.

However, when it comes to assists, the 35-year-old Argentinian far surpasses Ronaldo, with almost 50 per cent more than the Manchester United player.

(Al Jazeera)

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