How Lionel Messi’s record in 2022 compares 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.

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are undoubtedly two of the greatest footballers of all time – but they are now in the twilight years of their careers. So how do their records compare since the start of 2022?

Messi joined Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer in 2021 but has often failed to live up to expectations during his debut season in France.

The Argentina international received a wave of criticism following PSG’s Champions League last-16 defeat to Real Madrid and was booed by his own fans. 

“The whistles against Messi? It’s unbelievable,” Mauricio Pochettino recently told ESPN Argentina. “These are hard things to accept. A difficult situation to imagine and which cannot be understood in my opinion.

“All the more so with the greatness of Messi, what he gives and will continue to give to football.”

Despite the criticism, he’s since started to rediscover his best form and has helped PSG reclaim the Ligue 1 title after they finished second last season.

Ronaldo was also on the move last summer, leaving Juventus to join Manchester United for a second spell. He enjoyed a great start to the season but things started to go downhill under interim manager Ralf Rangnick.

The Portugal international had a really poor start to the calendar year and endured a notable goalless run, failing to score in six consecutive games for the first time since the 2008-09 season.

He couldn’t help United get past Atletico Madrid in the Champions League last 16 and also missed a penalty in their FA Cup defeat against Championship side Middlesbrough.

Alongside Messi, Ronaldo has also improved in recent weeks but United will finish the season trophyless and still look set to miss out on Champions League qualification.

While the duo have won 12 of the last 13 Ballons d’Or, it’d be a huge shock if either of them win the award in 2022. Karim Benzema and Robert Lewandowski are the current favourites.

We’ve taken a look at the numbers to see how Ronaldo and Messi are both performing at club level in 2022.

Lionel Messi

Games: 14
Starts: 13
Sub appearances: 1

Goals: 3
Assists: 8

Penalties scored: 0

Minutes per goal: 399
Minutes per non-penalty goal: 399
Minutes per goal or assist: 108.8

Cristiano Ronaldo

Games: 15
Starts: 14
Sub appearances: 1

Goals: 8
Assists: 0

Penalties scored: 0

Minutes per goal: 160.1
Minutes per non-penalty goal: 160.1
Minutes per goal or assist: 160.1


More from Planet Football

17 of the best quotes on Lionel Messi: ‘Life with Leo is prettier’

Can you name every winner of the European Golden Shoe since 2000?

An ode to Cristiano Ronaldo’s best Man Utd goal that no one talks about