How Lionel Messi’s record in 2022 compared with Cristiano Ronaldo’s

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

It’s fair to say that 2022 was quite the contrasting year for Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo as one of them is now a World Cup winner and the other has just sealed a move to Saudi Arabia. 

The pair have dominated the world of football for the past decade and even in their advanced years are still producing performances and moments of brilliance.

Ronaldo ended last season well with Manchester United and finished the 2021-22 campaign as their top scorer with 24 goals across all competitions. He scored a brilliant hat-trick in March to seal an emphatic 3-2 victory against Tottenham.

Circumstances around Ronaldo and United have ultimately meant that we didn’t see as much of him during the 2022-23 campaign and he left the club after a controversial exit interview.

While the 37-year-old didn’t have the greatest of World Cup tournaments, he did break several records including becoming the first male football player to score in five different World Cups.

The Portuguese forward sealed a move to Saudi side Al Nassr in the last days of 2022. He’ll reportedly earn

Messi, on the other hand, enjoyed one of the greatest years of his career, which finished with him lifting the World Cup for the first time in his career.

Considering the sparking form that he showcased throughout 2022, it’s quite crazy to think that he did not even place in the top 30 Ballon d’Or candidates for the most recent award.

There’s no doubt that Messi took some time to adapt to his new surroundings at PSG, but we are now seeing him being back to his very best for club and country.

Messi won his first league title outside of Spain this year as PSG were crowned Ligue 1 champions, but his biggest achievement came on the international stage.

Argentina won the World Cup and Messi won the Golden Ball after a remarkable individual campaign that saw him score seven goals and produce three assists.

Plenty of fans and pundits alike were quick to praise Messi in 2022. Roy Keane for example spoke about his World Cup triumph and how big that moment was for his career.

“It’s nice to win a trophy, but it is more of a relief. The pressure he has been under for the last few years, and to win it in his last game for his country, what an ending for him and his family,” said Keane, speaking on ITV.

“A sign of greatness is when you make the players around you better, and he does that. That’s not up for debate. He’s a great, great player. It’s great to see him win that trophy.”

We’ve taken a look into both Messi and Ronaldo’s stats from the calendar year of 2022. Note: We’ve included the numbers from the international friendlies but have left out their stats from any pre-season club friendlies.

Lionel Messi

Games: 51
Minutes played: 4,470

Goals: 35
Assists: 30

Penalties scored: 6
Hat-tricks: 1
Free-kicks scored: 2

Minutes per goal: 127.7
Minutes per non-penalty goal: 154.1
Minutes per goal or assist: 68.8

Trophies won: 4 (Ligue 1, Trophee des Champions, Finalissima, World Cup)

Cristiano Ronaldo

Games: 46
Minutes played: 3,457

Goals: 16
Assists: 4

Penalties scored: 3
Hat-tricks: 2
Free-kicks scored: 1

Minutes per goal: 216.1
Minutes per non-penalty goal: 265.9
Minutes per goal or assist: 172.8

Trophies won: 0

READ NEXT: A definitive breakdown of Messi and Ronaldo’s comparative career stats

TRY A QUIZ: Can you name every club Lionel Messi has scored against in the UCL?