Sign up for news

Messi vs. Ronaldo: 15 Years Lasting Rivalry

Author: Aleksandr Kud
26 July 2019, 14:23
Votes: 4

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have been two football icons for more than ten years. Their rivalry has been going on for almost as long as they have been playing. Both of them have five Golden Balls (this award is presented to the best footballer at the end of the season). However, there is one question that remains open: who is the best?

Messi vs. Ronaldo: 15 Years Lasting Rivalry

Leo Messi: Why He Is Called an Alien

The Argentine striker came to Barcelona at the age of 13, and four years later became a player in the main team. He was recognized the player of the year in Argentina 10 times, starting with his debut in a white-and-blue t-shirt.

In 2004, the forward made his debut in the main team of Barcelona. October 16 of that year can be considered the starting point of the greatest rivalry in football history.

In 2011, Argentina national team headed by Messi reached the quarterfinals, but the striker remembered the tournament that year not for holding the America's Cup in his native Argentina, but for the conflict with his teammates and the fans’ booing him.

In both 2015 and 2016, the Argentines reached the final but failed to win. In the second final, there was a penalty shootout, where Leo did not score. That cost his team the championship, which was as close as ever. Messi was so desperate that he left the team for about a month and a half. The fans were mad at him for the penalty miss, but they understood that without Leo it would have been even worse.

Currently, the main problem of a 32-year-old Argentine is the lack of trophies with the national team.

In May, Leo scored his 600th goal for Barcelona with a brilliant free kick, ​​defeating Liverpool in the first semi-final match of Champions League 2018-2019. It is noteworthy that this goal was scored exactly 14 years after the date of his first goal in Barcelona!

However, the joy of this achievement was short-lived because of a disaster that happened at Anfield. Disaster for the Blaugrana fans, and a miracle for the Reds. Liverpool’s incredible comeback with a crushing 4:0 knocked Barcelona out of the race for the trophy. On the other hand, Ronaldo’s Juventus lost even earlier – at 1/4.

Cristiano Ronaldo: Path to Success through Transfers

The difference between Cristiano and Leonel is not only in their success at the national team level but also at the club level. Ronaldo played in Portuguese Primeira, Premier League, La Liga, and Serie A, while Messi never left Spain.

The 34-year-old Portuguese began his career three years earlier. This happened on August 15, 2001, when he came on as a substitute in a match of Lisbon Sporting against the local Atletico.

Ronaldo has the experience of winning trophies on a club level in four countries. Messi's national team results can be considered insignificant only because Cristiano’s achievements at the national level are bigger: in 2016, the Portuguese became European champions, and in 2019 – the first ever Nations League winners.

In addition, Ronaldo is the only player who scored in three Champions League finals. Cristiano does not just score, he scores a lot: in seven seasons in a row, he had at least ten goals during the year within this tournament. His another achievement is scoring in 11 games in a row.

Ronaldo's strengths are individuality, speed, and dribbling, as well as original thinking and the highest level of professionalism. He does not depend on the team as Messi, and this applies to both the national team and the club. Leo never played anywhere else except Barcelona, and in turn, Cristiano managed to develop his skills by changing different European clubs.

Messi and Ronaldo in 2019

Despite the fact that Messi is called the best player of our time, the statistics of both footballers are similar. Thanks to the fact that Cristiano and Lionel had been playing against each other for Real Madrid and Barcelona accordingly for nine years in a row, we were able to observe the best football rivalry ever.  

Opinions about the Portuguese’s transfer to Italy were divided – some people supported him for the courage, but others were just sad because the Messi-Ronaldo era came to an end.  Experts consider that it is currently impossible to objectively compare these two forwards because of their playing in different championships. However, it is worth noticing that Cristiano was not included in the ranking of the Italian Serie A top scorers. Adjustment period in the new league is hardly the main reason.

Photo source: Eurosport

During these 9 years, two legends had been competing all the time: at the level of national teams and clubs. It was expected that the comparison of these two football players would subside after Ronaldo’s transfer to Juventus. However, we see that it has not.

After winning UEFA Nations League, Ronaldo increased the number of various trophies to 29, excluding the Football Association Community Shield and UEFA Super Cup (in 2016, Cristiano did not play in the match against Sevilla). In turn, Messi won an impressive number of trophies – 34. These include all European and Spanish club competitions.

If we consider the world’s two most famous football players in the context of national teams, then Messi is in a worse position. It is not due to the lower popularity of American tournaments, but because he cannot win anything with the Argentina national team, except for the long-forgotten 2008 Olympics. Since 2014 World Cup in Brazil, when Argentina reached the final but lost to Germany with a score of 0:1, Messi was clearly unlucky with the finals. At the 2018 World Cup, his national team was incapable of even getting to quarterfinals, so let's concentrate on the drama within the framework of the America's Cup, which we described above.

There is one point in which Messi has unconditionally surpassed Ronaldo in 2019: in the ranking of the most expensive football players. The Argentine took the seventh position with a price of 171.2 € million, and the Portuguese, in turn, was placed at the nineteenth position – 127.2 € million.

Goals Statistics: Who Is Cooler?

There are three things you can watch forever: fire, water, and Cristiano and Leo scoring. The scoring statistics of famous forwards is so multifaceted that it should be considered within the frame of different tournaments separately in order not to miss anything. 

Let's start with the Champions League – the fan-favorite tournament. These guys are phenomenal because none of them has been the leader for more than two or three seasons in scoring goals in any tournament. They scored a lot, and periodically held the first position in the scoring rate.

Before the 2014/2015 season, Messi and Ronaldo finally became equal in their performance: both forwards scored 77 goals in the Champions League. At that moment, even the most dedicated fans of each of the athletes recognized that they were both incredibly good.

However, the balance did not last long: the Portuguese began to score more often than usual and soon took his Golden Ball. To date, Ronaldo has retained an advantage in this indicator with 126 goals. Leo scored 14 goals less in the Champions League.

Number of goals scored in the UEFA Champions League

Season

Ronaldo

Messi

2011/2012

10

14

2012/2013

12

8

2013/2014

17

8

2014/2015

10

10

2015/2016

16

6

2016/2017

12

11

2017/2018

15

6

2018/2019

6

12

Perhaps the answer to the question "Who is cooler?" lies in the players’ stats in La Liga for the period of time when Ronaldo had been playing for FC Real Madrid.

Number of goals scored in La Liga         

Season

Ronaldo

Messi

2009/2010

26

34

2010/2011

40

31

2011/2012

46

50

2012/2013

34

46

2013/2014

31

28

2014/2015

48

43

2015/2016

35

26

2016/2017

25

37

2017/2018

26

34

Their performance in the Spanish Primera Division is almost identical: Cristiano Ronaldo had 311 goals, Lionel Messi – 329. It is worth taking into account the adaptation time of the Portuguese in Real Madrid and the experience of the Argentine in Spain.

Queen of Luck Online Casino Market
Comments:

No comments

Now read
14 Jul
Up