Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo on international duty

Comparing Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo’s international records

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are undoubtedly two of the greatest players of all time, but how do their international records stack up against one another?

Both players have won it all at club level, but they also boast extraordinary records on the international stage. Between them, the pair have scored 227 goals for their country which is an unbelievable return.

Ronaldo manages to rank above everyone else on the international stage when it comes to goals as he managed to surpass Iran’s Ali Daei to become the men’s all-time top international scorer.

Of course, the Portuguese forward has also managed to get his hands on some silverware with his country as he won Euro 2016 and also came out on top in the 2018-19 UEFA Nations League.

Lionel Messi has found that most of his success with Argentina has come in his later career, but it has been well worth the wait. The Argentine genius completed a historic international treble last year as he added the World Cup to his trophy cabinet which already contained the Copa America and Finalissima trophies.

In many ways, the World Cup was the crowning moment in Messi’s illustrious career. The 36-year-old took to social media after the game to explain what the trophy meant to him.

“I always had the dream of being World Champion and I never wanted to stop trying, even though I knew it might never happen,” Messi wrote on social media.

“This Cup we won also belongs to all those who did not win it in the previous World Cups we played, like in 2014 in Brazil, where everyone deserved it for how they fought until the very end, worked hard and wanted it as much as I did…. and we deserved it even in that damn final.

“It also belongs to Diego [Maradona] who cheered us on from heaven. And of all those who always supported the National Team without looking so much at the result but at the desire we always had, even when things did not work out the way we wanted them to.”

We’ve had a deeper dive into Messi’s international record with Argentina and have compared it to Ronaldo’s at Portugal. It will come as little surprise that both players have produced some crazy numbers over the years.

Lionel Messi (Argentina)

Games: 176
Goals: 104
Assists: 53
Penalties scored: 24

Friendly goals: 49
Ratio of friendly goals: 47%
World Cup goals: 13
Ratio of World Cup goals: 12.5%

Hat-tricks: 9
Free kick goals: 11
Outside the box goals: 14

Minutes per goal: 141
Minutes per non-penalty goal: 183
Minutes per goal or assist: 93

Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)

Games: 201
Goals: 123
Assists: 33
Penalties scored: 18

Friendly goals: 20
Ratio of friendly goals: 16%
World Cup goals: 8
Ratio of World Cup goals: 6.5%

Hat-tricks: 10
Free kick goals: 11
Outside the box goals: 11

Minutes per goal: 129
Minutes per non-penalty goal: 152
Minutes per goal or assist: 102

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