Messi vs Ronaldo All Time Stats

All Time Career Excluding club friendlies

Messi Stats All Time Career All Time

  • 700Goals
  • 297Assists
  • 865Apps
  • 100mins per goal
  • 70mins per goal contribution

Ronaldo Stats All Time Career All Time

  • 732Goals
  • 217Assists
  • 1008Apps
  • 112mins per goal
  • 86mins per goal contribution

All Time Club Excluding friendlies

Messi Stats All Time Club All Time

  • 630Goals
  • 255Assists
  • 727Apps
  • 93mins per goal
  • 66mins per goal contribution

Ronaldo Stats All Time Club All Time

  • 633Goals
  • 189Assists
  • 844Apps
  • 109mins per goal
  • 84mins per goal contribution

All Time League

Messi Stats All Time League All Time

  • 441Goals
  • 182Assists
  • 483Apps
  • 88mins per goal
  • 62mins per goal contribution

Ronaldo Stats All Time League All Time

  • 447Goals
  • 137Assists
  • 572Apps
  • 103mins per goal
  • 79mins per goal contribution

All Time Europe

Messi Stats All Time Europe All Time

  • 114Goals
  • 33Assists
  • 141Apps
  • 101mins per goal
  • 78mins per goal contribution

Ronaldo Stats All Time Europe All Time

  • 129Goals
  • 39Assists
  • 175Apps
  • 117mins per goal
  • 90mins per goal contribution

Ronaldo stats include: 1 goal, 1 assist and 3 appearances in UCL qualifying for Man Utd + 1 appearance in UCL qualifying for Sporting + 2 appearances in the UEFA Cup for Sporting

All Time Cups Domestic cups, UEFA Super Cup, Club World Cup

Messi Stats All Time Cups All Time

  • 75Goals
  • 40Assists
  • 103Apps
  • 112mins per goal
  • 73mins per goal contribution

Ronaldo Stats All Time Cups All Time

  • 57Goals
  • 13Assists
  • 97Apps
  • 135mins per goal
  • 110mins per goal contribution

All Time Internationals

Messi Stats All Time Internationals All Time

  • 70Goals
  • 42Assists
  • 138Apps
  • 161mins per goal
  • 101mins per goal contribution

Ronaldo Stats All Time Internationals All Time

  • 99Goals
  • 28Assists
  • 164Apps
  • 132mins per goal
  • 103mins per goal contribution

Messi vs Ronaldo - so who is the best?

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are two of the best footballers of all time, arguably the very best of them all. And remarkably, their careers have largely coincided, with both players dominating the game for well over a decade now. But who is the best?

We compare them both in a number of different categories and let you decide the overall winner.

Who scores more goals?

What really made this rivalry catch fire was their incredible, unprecedented goalscoring rates, with both Messi and Ronaldo averaging more than one goal every game at their peaks. During the 9 years Ronaldo spent at Real Madrid, Messi and Ronaldo both scored a goal every 85 minutes in all competitions. The adjacency of their goalscoring - matching each other blow for blow - has been astounding over the years.

Over their entire careers, it's Messi who edges it. Messi has scored 0.81 goals per game, whereas Ronaldo has scored 0.73 goals per game. If we drill down into goals per minutes, it's a similar story; Messi scores a goal every 100 minutes, and Ronaldo scores a goal every 112 minutes.

Ronaldo still has more all time career goals than Messi though (Ronaldo has 732 career goals and Messi has 700 career goals), but Ronaldo has played 143 more games over his career than Messi has.

Although Messi shades the all time goalscoring stats, the margins are small enough to consider this category a tie.


Who provides more assists?

When it comes to assists, there's only one winner. Lionel Messi's playmaking abilities are right up there with the very best, and he has the numbers to prove it.

Messi has racked up an impressive 297 assists in 865 career appearances, compared to Ronaldo's 217 assists in 1008 games.

However, because Messi has a clear ascendancy when it comes to assists, this often leads people to fall into the trap of underestimating Ronaldo's proficiency in this area. Ronaldo's assist numbers are still extremely impressive compared to the other mere mortals that play the beautiful game.

In fact, Ronaldo has the Champions League record, with 39 assists to Messi's 33 assists - granted Ronaldo has played 34 more matches than Messi, but this is still an impressive tally.

With that said, you can't ignore Messi's overall assist stats - he takes this category comfortably.


More Assist Stats

Who's the best at passing?

The passing stats point to a clear winner in this category; Lionel Messi. But again, Ronaldo's passing abilities are often underestimated.

In the league and Champions League since 2009/10, Messi has made 1087 key passes in 482 appearances, whilst Ronaldo has made 793 key passes in 468 appearances.

Messi also dominates the throughball statistics, making 241 successful throughballs in that same time period, compared to Ronaldo's 53 successful throughballs.

Although Messi's passing numbers are clearly superior, Ronaldo's are still impressive. It's also likely that his passing stats would have been significantly higher before 2009 when he was more involved in the creative build-up play.

Who's the best at dribbling?

Ronaldo started his career as a tricky winger, when his game was all about running at and beating defenders with his pace and skill. As he has transitioned to an out-and-out striker role over the years, dribbling has naturally become significantly less of a factor in Ronaldo's performances.

Messi also started his footballing career stuck to the by-line, eventually moving to a more central role as his primary position. However, Messi plays a very different game to the traditinal centre-forward game of Ronaldo. Messi comes much deeper, towards the play, rather than making runs and playing off the shoulder of the defenders.

As a result of playing much deeper, dribbling is still a major part of Messi's game, completing an incredible 2177 dribbles since 2009/10 in the league and Champions League, compared to Ronaldo's 843 successful dribbles over the same period.

There is therefore little doubt that Lionel Messi is the best when it comes to dribbling.

Who's the best at heading?

Heading is without doubt, the most clear-cut category, with Ronaldo's heading stats absolutely dwarfing Messi's.

Over their entire careers, Ronaldo has scored 127 headers in 1008 appearances, whereas Messi has scored just 24 headers in 865 appearances.

In addition to headed goals, Ronaldo has also won 635 aerial duels in the league and Champions League since 2009/10 compared to Messi's 97 aerial duels won.

Of course, when you look at their respective builds, the way they play, the way their teams play, these numbers are hardly surprising.

Who's got the best shot conversion rate?

The stats show that Ronaldo consistently has more shots on goal than Messi, totalling 3033 shots in the league and Champions League since 2009/10, compared to Messi's 2395 shots.

However, Messi converts a higher percentage of his shots, scoring a goal with every 4.95 shots, whereas Ronaldo scores a goal with every 6.41 shots.

In this same time period, Messi has scored over 20% of his shots in nearly every season, whereas Ronaldo has scored over 20% of his shots in just one season (21% in 2014/15). Messi's best shot conversion rate came in 2012/13 when he scored a staggering 29% of shots.

Who's the best at penalties?

When it comes to penalties, Ronaldo's numbers are comfortably superior to Messi's, although perhaps not by as much as some people think. The media perception is that Messi is unreliable from the spot, whereas Ronaldo is the ultimate ice-cool penalty king - the truth, is somewhere in between.

Excluding shootouts, Ronaldo has scored an impressive 125 penalties (with 24 misses) over his whole career, whereas Messi has scored 90 penalties (with 26 misses).

This gives Ronaldo an overall penalty conversion rate of 84%, compared to Messi's overall penalty conversion rate of 78%.

Ronaldo's stats are clearly better, however he's not as reliable as he is sometimes portrayed, with other elite strikers such as Lewandowski and Ibrahimovic boasting significantly better conversion rates.

Many also bring up Messi's big penalty misses, such as in the 2016 Copa America final shootout against Chile, and the 2012 Champions League semi-final miss against Chelsea. However, Ronaldo has his own big penalty misses, such as in the 2008 Champions League final shootout against Chelsea (his Man Utd side would ultimately go on to win due to John Terry's miss), and in the 2012 Champions League semi-final shootout against Bayern Munich (which did prove fatal for Real Madrid).


More Penalty Stats

Who's the best at free kicks?

In recent years, Messi has become the ultimate free kick specialist, whilst Ronaldo's proficiency in this area has diminished somewhat alarmingly. However, to say that this category is therefore cut-and-dry is simple recency bias.

For example, it may be true that from 2017-2019, Messi scored 23 free kick goals to Ronaldo's 5; however, from 2009-2011, Ronaldo scored 21 direct free kick goals to Messi's 3.

It looks increasingly likely that Messi will be considered the greater free kick specialist when all is said and done, but in terms of current all time career stats, Ronaldo has scored 55 free kick goals compared to Messi's 52 free kick goals.

So when you look at their whole careers, it seems fair to call this one a tie.

Who scores more hat tricks?

The rate at which Messi and Ronaldo score hat tricks is scarcely believable, with a staggering 110 between them; 54 career hat tricks for Messi and 56 career hat tricks for Ronaldo.

Ronaldo may still have the overall lead, but Messi has a slight edge in terms of frequency. Messi scores a hat trick every 16.0 games, whereas Ronaldo scores a hat trick every 18.0 games.

These numbers are so tight, and to add to this, their hat trick count in league games is: 36 hat tricks for Messi and 36 hat-tricks for Ronaldo. And in the Champions League? 8 hat tricks for Messi and 8 hat tricks for Ronaldo.

This one's definitely a tie.

Who has won more individual awards?

No other footballers in history have sustained such elite levels for such a long period of time. Their stranglehold on the coveted Ballon d'Or award has been relentless, with Messi's 6 Ballon d'Or trophies edging Ronaldo's haul of 5 Ballons d'Or. No other player in history has won more than 3! If Messi or Ronaldo didn't have each other to compete with for the award over the years, it's not inconceivable that one of them could have picked up the award 10 times or more.

In terms of golden boots, Messi has finished as the league's top scorer 6 times, winning the European Golden Shoe on each occasion. Ronaldo has finished as top scorer in the league 4 times (once in the Premier League and 3 times in La Liga), winning 4 European Golden Shoes in the process.

These are the big ones, and it's Messi that edges Ronaldo on both. Ronaldo has won the Puskas award though for best goal in a calendar year (2 nominations), whereas Messi has so far failed to win this award despite being nominated 7 times.

Messi has however won the Golden Ball, awarded to the player of the tournament at the World Cup, after taking his Argentina side to the final in 2014, narrowly losing out to Germany in the final.

Who has won more trophies?

In terms of trophies, Messi has the overall lead, with 34 trophies to Ronaldo's 31 trophies (not including Messi's 2008 Olympic triumph and 2004 U-20 World Cup win as these are not official senior competitions).

In terms of frequency, Messi has won 46% of the senior competitions he has played, and Ronaldo has won 39% of senior competitions played.

The figures point toward Messi taking this category; however, Ronaldo has that crucuial international trophy to his name that Messi lacks, and has 5 Champions League trophies to Messi's 4.

Messi has 10 league titles to Ronaldo's 6, but Ronaldo's ascendancy in terms of Champions League and international triumphs are enough to call this category a tie.

Who has more records?

In short, Messi and Ronaldo have a similar number of records to their name. The most startling is probably Messi's Guiness World Record for scoring 91 goals in a calendar year in 2012. To put this into context, Messi's next best is 60 and Ronaldo's best is 69. To score 91 goals in a year is other worldly.

Ronaldo however dominates the Champions League record books, with most goals, most assists, most free kick goals, most hat-tricks (shared with Messi), and most goals in a single season.

Messi holds many European records at domestic level, with the all time most goals scored in the top 5 European leagues, and most consecutive league matches scored in in world football (21 matches, 33 goals).

At International level, Ronaldo is the all time top scorer in terms of European nations with 99 goals, and is fast approaching Ali Daei's world record 109 goals scored for Iran.


All Records

Who's better at international level?

A popular narrative is that Ronaldo has had a glittering international career, whereas Messi has failed at international level, but is this true? Ronaldo certainly has had a fantastic international career, but so too has Messi.

Ronaldo scores a goal every 132 minutes for Portugal, and Messi scores a goal every 161 minutes for Argentina. When you factor in assists, Ronaldo makes a goal contribution every 103 minutes, whereas Messi makes a goal contribution every 101 minutes.

These numbers are not as other-wordly as what they produce for their club sides, but they are still extremely impressive nonetheless.

Ronaldo is Portugal's all-time top scorer with 99 goals (in 164 appearances), and Messi is Argentina's all-time top scorer with 70 goals (in 138 appearances).

Messi's infamously tragic record of having lost 4 major international finals is the stick that many use to beat him with, but reaching 4 major finals is an impressive achievement in itself.

Ronaldo has reached 2 major international finals with Portugal, but crucially he won one of those; the 2016 European Championships. This, along with his superior goalscoring record is enough for Ronaldo to take this category.

Cast your vote!

Messi vs Ronaldo Discussion

All Time Stats Updated Jul 11, 9:52 PM UTC