Messi vs Ronaldo Champions League Knockout Goals and Stats

UCL Groups + Knockouts All Champions League Main Draw Matches

Messi Stats UCL Groups + Knockouts All Time

  • 129 Goals
  • 40 Assists
  • 163 Apps
  • 105 mins per goal
  • 80 mins per goal contribution

Ronaldo Stats UCL Groups + Knockouts All Time

  • 140 Goals
  • 41 Assists
  • 183 Apps
  • 114 mins per goal
  • 88 mins per goal contribution

UCL Knockouts All Champions League Knockout Matches

Messi Stats UCL Knockouts All Time

  • 49 Goals
  • 12 Assists
  • 77 Apps
  • 136 mins per goal
  • 109 mins per goal contribution

Ronaldo Stats UCL Knockouts All Time

  • 67 Goals
  • 15 Assists
  • 85 Apps
  • 113 mins per goal
  • 92 mins per goal contribution

UCL Finals All Champions League Final Matches

Messi Stats UCL Finals All Time

  • 2 Goals
  • 0 Assists
  • 3 Apps
  • 135 mins per goal
  • 135 mins per goal contribution

Ronaldo Stats UCL Finals All Time

  • 4 Goals
  • 1 Assists
  • 6 Apps
  • 158 mins per goal
  • 126 mins per goal contribution

UCL Semi-finals All Champions League Semi-final Matches

Messi Stats UCL Semi-finals All Time

  • 6 Goals
  • 3 Assists
  • 15 Apps
  • 220 mins per goal
  • 147 mins per goal contribution

Ronaldo Stats UCL Semi-finals All Time

  • 13 Goals
  • 2 Assists
  • 21 Apps
  • 146 mins per goal
  • 127 mins per goal contribution

UCL Quarter-finals All Champions League Quarter-final Matches

Messi Stats UCL Quarter-finals All Time

  • 12 Goals
  • 3 Assists
  • 23 Apps
  • 163 mins per goal
  • 131 mins per goal contribution

Ronaldo Stats UCL Quarter-finals All Time

  • 25 Goals
  • 3 Assists
  • 22 Apps
  • 79 mins per goal
  • 71 mins per goal contribution

UCL Last 16 All Champions League Last 16 Matches

Messi Stats UCL Last 16 All Time

  • 29 Goals
  • 6 Assists
  • 36 Apps
  • 108 mins per goal
  • 89 mins per goal contribution

Ronaldo Stats UCL Last 16 All Time

  • 25 Goals
  • 9 Assists
  • 36 Apps
  • 122 mins per goal
  • 89 mins per goal contribution

UCL Group Stage All Champions League Group Stage Matches

Messi Stats UCL Group Stage All Time

  • 80 Goals
  • 28 Assists
  • 86 Apps
  • 86 mins per goal
  • 64 mins per goal contribution

Ronaldo Stats UCL Group Stage All Time

  • 73 Goals
  • 26 Assists
  • 98 Apps
  • 115 mins per goal
  • 85 mins per goal contribution

UCL Qualifiers All Champions League Qualifying Matches

Messi Stats UCL Qualifiers All Time

  • 0 Goals
  • 0 Assists
  • 0 Apps
  • 0 goals per game

Ronaldo Stats UCL Qualifiers All Time

  • 1 Goals
  • 1 Assists
  • 4 Apps
  • 253 mins per goal
  • 127 mins per goal contribution

UEFA Cup / Europa League All UEFA Cup / Europa League Matches

Messi Stats UEFA Cup / Europa League All Time

  • 0 Goals
  • 0 Assists
  • 0 Apps
  • 0 goals per game

Ronaldo Stats UEFA Cup / Europa League All Time

  • 2 Goals
  • 2 Assists
  • 8 Apps
  • 325 mins per goal
  • 163 mins per goal contribution

Messi vs Ronaldo in the UEFA Champions League

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The Champions League is the world's greatest club football competition. The World Cup still holds the status as the most prestigious trophy in world football, but in terms of quality, the Champions League is the pinnacle, with all of the world's best players involved every year.

Both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have enjoyed great success in the competition, with Messi lifting the trophy 4 times with Barcelona, whilst Ronaldo has won it 5 times; once with Manchester United and fours times with Real Madrid.

Champions League Goals

Unsurprisingly, Messi and Ronaldo are the two top goalscorers in Champions League history, with Ronaldo leading the way on 140 goals (+1 in qualifying) in 183 games, whilst Messi is 11 behind on 129 goals in 163 games.

Interestingly though, it was actually Leo Messi who first surpassed the previous all time goals record of 71, set by Real Madrid legend, Raúl. Messi broke the record with a hat-trick against APOEL in November 2014, putting him on 74 Champions League goals; 4 ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo who was on 70 goals at the time.

The fact that Ronaldo is now 11 goals ahead of Messi is testament to how relentlessly he has found the net in the last 5 years, regularly hitting double figures in the seasons that followed.

In fact, Cristiano Ronaldo scored 10 or more goals in seven consecutive seasons from 2011/12 to 2017/18, his best return coming in 2013/14 when he scored a stunning 17 goals in 11 appearances. This, of course, is a Champions League record for most goals scored in a single season.

Most goals in a single Champions League season

1Cristiano Ronaldo2013/141711
2Cristiano Ronaldo2015/161612
3Robert Lewandowski2019/201510
3Cristiano Ronaldo2017/181513
3Karim Benzema2021/221512
6Lionel Messi2011/121411
6José Altafini1962/63149
8Robert Lewandowski2021/221310
9Lionel Messi2010/111213
9Lionel Messi2018/191210
9Cristiano Ronaldo2012/131212
9Cristiano Ronaldo2016/171213
9Ferenc Puskas1959/60127
9Ruud van Nistelrooy2002/03129
9Mario Gómez2011/121213

Ronaldo has had multiple fantastic goalscoring seasons in the Champions League, finishing as the top scorer on 7 occasions, whilst Messi has finished as the Champions League top scorer 6 times in his career.

Despite Cristiano Ronaldo's stunning goal-surge in recent years, Messi still actually boasts the superior ratios, scoring 0.79 goals per game compared to Ronaldo's 0.77 goals per game.

If we drill down into minutes per goal, again Messi has the edge here, soring a goal every 105.2 minutes, whereas Ronaldo has scored a goal every 113.9 minutes in the Champions League.

Ronaldo Champions League Goals by Club

Believe it or not, Cristiano Ronaldo actually played 29 Champions League games for Manchester United before scoring his first goal! He finally broke his duck in the 7-1 victory over Roma in 2007, scoring 2 goals. As we now know, this really was a case of a long-awaited goal causing the floodgates to open.

  • Manchester United: 22 goals in 62 games
  • Real Madrid: 105 goals in 101 games (!)
  • Juventus: 14 goals in 23 games

Champions League Assists

In general, we're used to Leo Messi having the ascendancy when it comes to assists, but it's actually Ronaldo who currently has the lead in assists in the UEFA Champions League, with 41 assists compared to Messi's 40 assists (Opta).

However, with Ronaldo clocking up 20 more games than Messi, it means Ronaldo averages 0.22 assists per game, whereas Messi averages 0.25 assists per game.

In terms of overall goal contributions, Messi leads the way, registering a goal or assist every 80.3 minutes, whilst Ronaldo records a goal or assist every 88.1 minutes.

Champions League Group Stage Stats

In the group stages, it's Messi that boasts the better goalscoring stats, with 80 goals in 86 games in the Champions League group stage, compared to Ronaldo's 73 goals in 98 games.

So despite playing 12 fewer group stage matches, Messi has scored 7 more goals than Ronaldo at this stage of the compeition.

In terms of assists in Champions League group stage matches, it's close, with Cristiano Ronaldo on 26 assists and Messi on 28 assists.

Ronaldo Champions League Group Stage Goals by Club

  • Manchester United: 11 goals in 34 games
  • Real Madrid: 55 goals in 49 games
  • Juventus: 7 goals in 15 games

Champions League Knockout Stats

With Ronaldo being the all time top scorer in the Champions League and Messi having more group stage goals, you might have guessed that Ronaldo subsequently has significantly more in the knockout stages of the competition.

Indeed, Cristiano has racked up an incredible amount of goals in the latter stages of the Champions League in recent years, as his Real Madrid side won 4 out of 5 trophies in an unprecedented spell of European dominance.

In 2016, he scored a hat-trick to rescue Real Madrid against Wolfsburg in a quarter-final 2nd leg. In 2017 he became the first player to score back-to-back hat-tricks in the Champions League knockout stages, scoring 2 goals in extra-time to defeat Bayern Munich, before hitting 3 past arch-rivals Atletico Madrid in the following round. Two years later, now at Juventus, he scored another knockout stage hat-trick in the Last 16, again against Atletico who had won the 1st leg 2-0.

In total, Ronaldo has scored 67 goals in the Champions League knockout stages in 85 appearances, scoring a goal every 112.6 minutes on average. Messi has scored 49 goals in the Champions League knockout stages in 77 appearances, scoring a goal every 136.2 minutes on average.

If we look at assists, Ronaldo has 15 knockout stage assists to Messi's 12; although Ronaldo has played 8 more games. Overall, Ronaldo scores or assists every 92.0 minutes in Champions League knockout games, whereas Messi scores or assists every 109.4 minutes.

Messi has also had some huge nights in the Champions League knockout rounds. His personal favourite is probably his brace in the 2011 semi-final at the Bernabeu in one of the biggest El Clasico encounters in recent years. The second goal is one Messi claims to be his best ever goal, picking the ball up 30 yards from goal before proceeding to dribble through the entire Madrid defence and then sliding the ball past a bewildered Casillas.

Another that stands out is Messi's destruction of Bayern Munich in the 2015 semi-final, during which he literally floored Jerome Boateng through his movement alone. In 2019, Messi put on a masterclass against Manchester United in the quarter-final 2nd leg, scoring twice. He then followed this up with another brace against Liverpool, arguably the best side in the world at the time. His stunning 30 yard free kick ensured they took a 3-0 advantage to the away leg, but we all know what happened next. Messi did play well in the 2nd leg though, setting up 3 major chances for his team mates, but this was ultimately not enough.

Cristiano Ronaldo's superb goalscoring stats in the Champions League knockout rounds are perhaps his greatest asset in the infamous GOAT debate.

Ronaldo Champions League Knockout Stage Goals by Club

  • Manchester United: 10 goals in 25 games
  • Real Madrid: 50 goals in 52 games
  • Juventus: 7 goals in 8 games

Champions League Finals

Both Messi and Ronaldo have good records in Champions League finals, appearing in 9 finals between them. In one of these finals, the two players actually faced each other, with Messi's Barcelona defeating Ronaldo's Manchester United in 2009 with goals from Eto'o and a famous Leo Messi header.

Ronaldo was however on the winning side a year previous, as Man Utd beat Chelsea on penalties; Ronaldo scored during the game but actually missed his penalty in the shootout. But when John Terry stepped up to take the winning penalty for Chelsea, he slipped, missed the goal and Ronaldo secured his first Champions League trophy.

In 2011, Messi produced an outstanding performance as his Barcelona side completely outclassed Manchester United, winning the game 3-1 with Messi scoring the crucial second goal.

In 2017, Ronaldo scored 2 goals as Real Madrid ran out 4-1 winners against his future side Juventus.

Overall, Messi has scored 2 goals in 3 final appearances, with 0 assists. Ronaldo has played in 6 Champions League finals, scoring 4 goals and providing 1 assist.

In short, both players have delivered on the big stage, with Messi winning all 3 of the finals he's appeared in, whilst Ronaldo has won 5 out of 6.

Beyond the Goals

Of course, football is about more than just goals, which is easily forgotten when Messi and Ronaldo put the ball in the net so relentlessly.

First of all, let's look at passing. Since 2009/10, Messi has made 290 key passes in 130 Champions League appearances, whereas Ronaldo has made 213 key passes in 131 games.

When it comes to dribbling, Messi has completed 581 successful dribbles in the Champions League since 2009/10, whilst Ronaldo has completed less than half Messi's total, with 247 successful dribbles in the same period.

It must be noted however that these above stats aren't particularly surprising when you consider their respective playing styles. Additionally, Ronaldo's dribbling and passing stats are likely to be higher before 2009 when he was more of a genuine winger and more involved in the build-up play.

Ronaldo dominates when it comes to winning the ball in the air, winning 186 aerial duels in the Champions League since 2009/10 compared to Messi's 32 aerial duels won. Again, hardly surprising given their physical attributes and the playing styles of their teams.

Ronaldo consistenly takes more shots at goal than Leo Messi does, but it's the Argentinian who converts a greater proportion of his efforts into goals, scoring a goal for every 5.53 shots he's taken in the Champions League since 2009/10. Cristiano meanwhile has scored a goal for every 6.32 shots he's taken.

Taking the above stats (amongst others) into account alongside goals and assists, stats providers are able to produce match ratings based on their algorithms. Lionel Messi's overall average match rating in the Champions League since 2009/10 is 8.40, whilst Cristiano Ronaldo's overall match rating is 7.99.

With those average ratings, it follows that Messi has also received a greater number of Man of the Match awards in the Champions League, picking up 67 awards since 2009/10 (130 games), compared to Ronaldo's 40 man of the match awards (131 games).

Average match ratings in the Champions League for each season since 2009/10

Champions League Records

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have practically rewritten the Champions League record books as their careers have progressed, a selection of which are listed below. For the full range of Champions League records these guys have broken, head over to the Records page.

  • 🏅 Most Goals: Cristiano Ronaldo (140 goals)
  • 🏅 Most Assists: Cristiano Ronaldo (41 assists)
  • 🏅 Most Goals in a Single Season: Cristiano Ronaldo (17 goals in 2013/14)
  • 🏅 Most Hat-tricks: Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo (8 hat-tricks)
  • 🏅 Most Goals in a Game: Lionel Messi (5 goals - shared with Luiz Adriano)
  • 🏅 Most Free Kick Goals: Cristiano Ronaldo (12 goals)
  • 🏅 Most Consecutive Seasons Scored In: Lionel Messi (18 consecutive seasons)
  • 🏅 Most Top Scorer Awards: Cristiano Ronaldo (7)

If you’re looking for more Messi vs Ronaldo stats, follow us on Twitter at @mvsrapp, where we consistenly post exclusive stats.

Updated Jun 22, 6:16 PM UTC