Comparing Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi’s stats after turning 30

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Composite image of Cristiano ronaldo playing for Manchester United and Lionel Messi playing for Paris Saint-Germain. December 2021.

Both Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have defied the passage of time to deliver era-defining feats well into the autumn of their respective careers – but which of them enjoys the better record after the age of 30? 

As he entered his fourth decade in June 2017, Messi was the shining light in a glittering Barcelona frontline and has spent his thirties demonstrating he is arguably the greatest footballer of all time.

While his move to PSG hasn’t been a total success, although his form in recent months has vastly improved, Messi won his first international honour as he lead Argentina to the Copa America title in 2021.

Meanwhile, Ronaldo turned 30 in February 2015 with Real Madrid soon to embark on a run of three successive Champions League trophies.

While the continental silverware dried up at Juventus, and has disappeared entirely at Manchester United, Ronaldo has spent the second half of his playing career winning an obscene amount of personal accolades.

He is now the record scorer of international goals – as well as lifting the European Championship and UEFA Nations League with Portugal – and both Ronaldo and Messi have continued their almost complete duopoly of the Ballon d’Or.

We’ve crunched the numbers to see which of the modern-day GOATs has enjoyed the best career record after the age of 30.

Cristiano Ronaldo

For Club:

Games: 330
Goals: 285
Assists: 70
Goals per game: 0.86
Goals and assists per game: 1.08
Penalties: 56
Goals per game without penalties: 0.69

For Country:

Games: 68
Goals: 63
Assists: 11
Goals per game: 0.93
Goals and assists per game: 1.09
Penalties: 13
Goals per game without penalties: 0.74

Lionel Messi:

For Club:

Games: 224
Goals: 173
Assists: 96
Goals per game: 0.77
Goals and assists per game: 1.2
Penalties: 22
Goals per game without penalties: 0.67

For Country:

Games: 42
Goals: 23
Assists: 10
Goals per game: 0.55
Goals and assists per game: 0.79
Penalties: 6
Goals per game without penalties: 0.4

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