A definitive breakdown of Messi and Ronaldo’s comparative career records

Quick Reads

Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo. Pick one. You have to choose, apparently. Much of modern football discourse has encouraged the choice of one of this generation’s defining talents over the other, rather than appreciate them both. 

However, they do represent contrasting ideologies. Messi is the born talent, capable of magical acts beyond the conceptions of the vast majority of human civilisation. Ronaldo, his body meticulously sculpted in the gym, represents a monument to hard work and dedication to his craft.

We’ve collated the career stats of both legends, courtesy of a website dedicated to the two players. You can make your own minds up, or perhaps just sit back and enjoy the fun they both provide.

Lionel Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo

877 – Games – 1,019
71,390 – Career mins – 82,796

707 – Goals – 742
299 – Assists – 217
54 – Hat-tricks – 56

53 – Free-kicks – 56
589 – Left foot – 133
91 – Right foot – 479
24 – Headers – 128
93/119 (78.2%) – Penalties converted – 128/153 (83.7%)

6 – Ballon d’Or wins – 5
6 – European Golden Shoe wins – 4

0.81 – Goals per game – 0.73
101 – Minutes per goal – 112
71 – Minutes per goal or assist – 86

34 – Trophies – 30
10 – League titles – 7
4 – Champions League – 5
24.62 – Games per trophy – 34

140 – International caps – 167
71 – International goals – 101
0 – International trophies – 2


More from Planet Football

Where are they now? A ‘new Lionel Messi’ for every year since 2006

Can you name every winner of the European Golden Shoe since 2000?

‘He did the most audacious piece of skill’ – Ronaldo’s early days at Man Utd

What they said: The 12 players to play alongside Messi and Ronaldo