Messi vs Ronaldo – Detailed Stats Comparison

Messi vs Ronaldo – so who is the best?

The best football players of all time, and possibly the best of all, are Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Surprisingly, their careers have essentially paralleled one another, and for well over a decade, both players have dominated the game.

Who is the best, though?

You get to choose the overall winner after we compare both of them in a variety of different criteria.

Who has a higher goal total?

Their amazing, unheard-of goalscoring rates—both Messi and Ronaldo averaged more than one goal per game at their pinnacles—were what really set this rivalry ablaze. Messi and Ronaldo each scored a goal per 85 minutes in all competitions over the nine years that they were both players for Real Madrid. Over the years, it has been amazing to see how closely they have matched one other’s goalscoring.

Messi has scored an average of 0.79 goals per game over the course of his career, compared to Ronaldo’s 0.72.

Messi and Ronaldo score goals at a rate of one every 104 and one every 113 minutes, respectively, if we break it down by goals per minute.

Although Messi has 791 career goals to Ronaldo’s 819, Ronaldo has played 143 more games in his career than Messi has. Despite this, Ronaldo still has more goals overall.

Despite the fact that Messi dominates the ratio overall, Ronaldo spent more of his early years as a more conventional right winger, only truly beginning to focus on goal scoring as his primary purpose in 2006, three to four years into his career.

It took Messi two to three years to fully develop from a nimble winger into a player who prioritizes scoring goals above all else.

The ratios would be considerably closer if we took into consideration these various origins.

The hardest category to separate people on is goalscoring. Tie in this case.

Who provides better assists?

There is only one victor when it comes to assists. The statistics back up Lionel Messi’s claim that he is one of the top playmakers in the world.

Compared to Ronaldo’s 234 assists in 1145 games, Messi has piled up a remarkable 350 assists in 1002 career appearances.

However, because Messi clearly has an advantage when it comes to assists, this frequently causes people to underestimate Ronaldo’s skill in this area.

In comparison to other players who are mere mortals, Ronaldo’s assist totals are still really amazing.
In fact, Ronaldo has more in the Champions League, with 42 assists to Messi’s 40 assists – granted Ronaldo has played 26 more matches than Messi, but this is still an impressive tally.

With that said, you can’t ignore Messi’s overall assist stats – he takes this category comfortably.

Who can pass the ball the best?

Lionel Messi is the undisputed champion in this area according to the passing statistics. But once more, Ronaldo’s passing skills are frequently underrated.

Since 2009/10, Messi has played in 578 leagues and Champions League matches and has completed 1324 important passes, compared to Ronaldo’s 890 in 561.

Additionally, Messi outperforms Ronaldo in the statistics for successful through-balls, completing 430 of them during the same time frame as opposed to Ronaldo’s 81.

Ronaldo’s passing statistics are amazing even if Messi’s are unquestionably superior. Additionally, his passing statistics would have certainly been much better before to 2009, when he was more actively involved in the inventive build-up play.

Who’s the best at dribbling?

When Ronaldo first began his career, he was a clever winger whose primary goal was to rush at and outwit opponents.

Dribbling has naturally played a much smaller role in Ronaldo’s performances since he switched to an inside-forward / striker role throughout the years.

Messi similarly began his football career playing on the byline before switching to a more central position and staying there for most of his career.

Messi, though, plays a far different style of football than a regular center striker, and his natural Number 10 skills make him the ideal False 9.

Messi, therefore, plays significantly closer to the action and much deeper than when he rushes and plays off the defenders’ shoulders.

Dribbling is still a key component of Messi’s style because he frequently comes deep to receive the ball; in the league and Champions League, he has successfully completed 3018 dribbles, compared to Ronaldo’s 1646 (since 2003/04).

Therefore, it is clear that Lionel Messi is the best dribbler in the world.


All-time career (club and country, excluding club friendlies)

  • Ronaldo: 819 goals and 234 assists in 1,145 appearances
  • Messi: 791 goals and 350 assists in 1,002 appearances
  • Hat-tricks: Ronaldo 60; Messi 56
  • Career goal ratio: Ronaldo 0.72; Messi 0.79
  • Penalties: Ronaldo 146; Messi 107
  • Club career (excluding friendlies)
  • Ronaldo: 701 goals and 201 assists in 949 appearances
  • Messi: 695 goals and 297 assists in 831 appearances
  • Hat-tricks: Ronaldo 50; Messi 48
  • Club goal ratio: Ronaldo 0.74; Messi 0.84
  • Penalties: Ronaldo 129; Messi 84
  • International careers (friendly and competitive matches)
  • Ronaldo for Portugal: 118 goals and 33 assists in 196 appearances
  • Messi for Argentina: 96 goals and 53 assists in 171 appearances
  • Hat-tricks: Ronaldo 10; Messi 8
  • International goal ratio: Ronaldo 0.60; Messi 0.56
  • Penalties: Ronaldo 17; Messi 23

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