El Clásico is arguably the biggest fixture in club football, with millions tuning in around the globe every time Real Madrid and Barcelona go to battle. What better stage, therefore, to showcase the greatest footballing rivalry of all time: Lionel Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo?
Messi has played in La Liga for several more seasons than Ronaldo, so naturally has played in a significantly greater number of El Clásico matches, with 43 El Clásico appearances; 13 more than Ronaldo who has played in 30 El Clásico matches.
Goals in El Clásico
Messi has scored 26 goals in El Clásico in his career which, unsurprisingly, is a record. Ronaldo has scored 18 in El Clasico, which is the joint second most in the fixture's history alongside the legendary Alfredo Di Stéfano.
Ronaldo has the slight edge in terms of minutes per goal however, scoring a goal for every 140.94 minutes played in Real Madrid vs Barcelona matches. Messi is whiskers behind, scoring a goal every 144.65 minutes.
Cristiano Ronaldo has also enjoyed the best goalscoring run in the fixture's history, scoring in a record 6 consecutive El Clasico fixtures in 2012 (netting 7 goals in the process).
When it comes to hat-tricks though, it's Messi who holds the record, scoring a hat-trick on 2 occasions against Real Madrid. The first of which was Messi's first ever hat-trick; his third helping to rescue a point for Barcelona in stoppage time. An apt way to score his first treble and really announce himself on the big stage.
Ronaldo managed 2 braces against Barcelona for Real Madrid, but was never able to secure a hat-trick.
All Time Top Goalscorers in El Clasico
Alfredo Di Stefano
Assists in El Clásico
There is only one winner when it comes to providing assists in El Clasico fixtures. Lionel Messi has made an impressive 14 assists against Real Madrid; yet another El Clasico record. Ronaldo on the other hand, has made just 1 assist in 30 appearances.
As a result, despite Messi having a slightly inferior minutes per goal ratio, he boasts a far superior ratio in terms of overall goal contributions, registering a goal or assist every 94.03 minutes in El Clasico matches. Ronaldo's solitary assist puts his ratio at one goal or assist every 133.53 minutes.
Free Kicks and Penalties in El Clásico
Both Messi and Ronaldo boast 100% penalty records in El Clasico, with Messi scoring 6 out of 6 spot kicks, whilst Ronaldo converted 4 out of 4 of his Clasico penalties.
Messi has also scored 2 free kicks for Barcelona against Real Madrid, whereas Ronaldo was never able to find the net from a direct free kick in the famous fixture.
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