Comparing Messi and Ronaldo’s records at major tournaments

Quick Reads

It is a debate that has raged between fans of Barcelona, Manchester United, Real Madrid and Juventus for well over a decade now. It is, of course, Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo?

The Argentinian boasts six Ballon d’Ors while the Portuguese has five of his own. The only players to have won so many. But with Euro 2020 and the Copa America taking place at the same time this year, the debate has once again been brought back into the mainstream.

Both players have been performing to their usual, sky-high standards. But across all the major international tournaments, who has the better record? We compare them…

Lionel Messi

World Cup 

Games: 19
Starts: 17
Sub appearances: 2

Goals: 6
Assists: 7
Penalties scored: 0

Minutes per goal: 270.8
Minutes per non-penalty goal: 270.8
Minutes per goal or assist: 125

Copa America 

Games: 30
Starts: 27
Sub appearances: 3

Goals: 10
Assists: 14
Penalties scored: 2

Minutes per goal: 254.7
Minutes per non-penalty goal: 318.4
Minutes per goal or assist: 106.1


Games: 49
Starts: 44
Sub appearances: 5

Goals: 16
Assists: 21
Penalties scored: 2

Minutes per goal: 260.8
Minutes per non-penalty goal: 298
Minutes per goal or assist: 112.8

Cristiano Ronaldo

World Cup 

Games: 17
Starts: 17
Sub appearances: 0

Goals: 7
Assists: 2
Penalties scored: 2

Minutes per goal: 211
Minutes per non-penalty goal: 294.8
Minutes per goal or assist: 163.8


Games: 24
Starts: 22
Sub appearances: 2

Goals: 14
Assists: 9
Penalties scored: 3

Minutes per goal: 147
Minutes per non-penalty goal: 187.6
Minutes per goal or assist: 89.7


Games: 41
Starts: 39
Sub appearances: 2

Goals: 21
Assists: 11
Penalties scored: 5

Minutes per goal: 168.5
Minutes per non-penalty goal: 221.1
Minutes per goal or assist: 110.6

More from Planet Football

A brilliant Euro 2020 XI made up of group-stage stars: Ronaldo, KDB…

How Messi and Ronaldo’s international records compare to the all-time greats

Copa America 2021: Lionel Messi’s last chance for glory with Argentina?

Can you name the top scorer for every La Liga season since 1990?