Arsenal's Bukayo Saka (centre) compared to Cristiano Ronaldo (left) and Lionel Messi (right) at the same age - 22

Comparing Bukayo Saka’s record now to Messi & Ronaldo at the age of 22

Arsenal and England star Bukayo Saka recently celebrated his 22nd birthday so we’ve decided to compare his career stats to those of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo at the same age – & his numbers stack up well…

Saka has become a mainstay of his club and country’s attack, blossoming into one of the most highly-regarded players in world football.

Asked if his target is to improve on his numbers this year, Saka replied: “Yes, 100 per cent. I’m always looking to improve and progress each season. So, I’m definitely aiming for more this year.

“I think it’s about commitment, you know, commitment to being better so obviously, it requires me to do a lot of things in terms of listening, watching clips, training hard every day, putting in the extra work to try and keep progressing.

“I’ve got my head down, worked harder, and set myself some targets and goals to achieve and just went from there and strived to achieve them – each year, I try to keep progressing and getting better.”

Despite a productive season with England and Arsenal, Saka ultimately ended the year with no silverware but believes things are shaping up nicely on both fronts to make sure that does not happen this time around.

“I think definitely year on year I’ve come close to achieving something big,” he told BBC Radio 5Live.

“This year, we’re definitely closer as a team, Arsenal and England, so I’m looking forward to this year, it is an exciting year ahead.”

Here’s how Saka’s record, as of his 22nd birthday, compares with Messi’s and Ronaldo’s at the same age.

Bukayo Saka

Appearances: 212
Goals: 53
Assists: 51

Minutes per goal: 298.9
Minutes per goal or assist: 152.3

Hat-tricks: 1
Penalties: 7/9

League Goals: 33
Champions League Goals: 0
International Goals: 11


Club: FA Cup x 1, Community Shield x 2

Youth: None

International: None

Individual: PFA Young Player of the Year x 1, England Player of the Year x 1

Lionel Messi

Appearances: 200
Goals: 92
Assists: 46

Minutes per goal: 153.7
Minutes per goal or assist: 102.5

Hat-tricks: 2
Penalties: 10/13

League Goals: 54
Champions League Goals: 16
International Goals: 12


Club: La Liga x 3, Champions League x 2, Copa del Rey x 1, Supercopa de Espana x 1

Youth: FIFA Under-20 World Champions x 1, Summer Olympics x 1

International: None

Individual: Ballon d’Or x 1, La Liga Best Player x 1

Barcelona's Lionel Messi making his debut for the club against Jose Mourinho's Porto, Estadio Dragao, Portugal, November 2003

READ: Where are they now? Barcelona’s XI on Lionel Messi’s debut v Porto

Cristiano Ronaldo

Appearances: 242
Goals: 62
Assists: 44

Minutes per goal: 266.6
Minutes per goal or assist: 156.0

Hat-tricks: 0
Penalties: 4/6

League Goals: 36
Champions League Goals: 0
International Goals: 15


Club: Portuguese Super Cup x 1, FA Cup x 1, League Cup x 1,

Youth: Toulon Tournament x 1

International: None

Individual: None

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TRY A QUIZ: Can you name Arsenal’s XI from Bukayo Saka’s debut in 2018?