Messi vs Ronaldo Free Kicks stats

All Time Career Free Kicks

Messi All Time Career Free Kicks

53

scores a free kick every 16.4 games

Ronaldo All Time Career Free Kicks

56

scores a free kick every 18.1 games

All Time Club Free Kicks

Messi All Time Club Free Kicks

47

scores a free kick every 15.6 games

Ronaldo All Time Club Free Kicks

46

scores a free kick every 18.5 games

League Free Kicks

Messi League Free Kicks

36

scores a free kick every 13.5 games

Ronaldo League Free Kicks

31

scores a free kick every 18.6 games

Champions League Free Kicks

Messi Champions League Free Kicks

5

scores a free kick every 21.0 games

Ronaldo Champions League Free Kicks

12

scores a free kick every 14.8 games

Other Club Cups Free Kicks

Messi Other Club Cups Free Kicks

6

scores a free kick every 17.2 games

Ronaldo Other Club Cups Free Kicks

3

scores a free kick every 33.0 games

International Free Kicks

Messi International Free Kicks

6

scores a free kick every 23.0 games

Ronaldo International Free Kicks

10

scores a free kick every 16.5 games

Messi & Ronaldo Free Kick Record

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Both Messi and Ronaldo have had somewhat curious journeys when it comes to their free kick records.

Ronaldo quickly became known for scoring fairly outrageous free kick goals during his Manchester United career - in fact his first United goal was from a free kick. Some years later he introduced the famous “knuckleball” technique with his iconic strike against Portsmouth, and scored from an impossible distance against Arsenal in the Champions League. He finished his Man Utd career with 5 goals in each of his last 2 seasons, and then continued this free kick form into his La Liga career, scoring 23 direct free kick goals in his first 5 seasons. However, that’s when things began to turn, as he netted just 9 free kicks in his final 4 seasons at Madrid, and has scored 1 free kick goal so far at Juventus.

Messi’s journey has been almost a mirror image to Ronaldo’s. Messi became Barcelona’s all time leading goalscorer in March 2012, at which point he had scored just 5 free kick goals (with Ronaldo on 25). Then, everything changed for Messi, as he went on to score 7 in 2012 alone, before averaging 6 free kick goals each year for the next 7 years. He even managed to score 10 free kicks in a single calendar year in 2018, and then followed it up with another 8 in 2019.

Messi’s transformation into the ultimate free kick specialist in the second half of his career has been quite staggering to witness, whereas Ronaldo’s increasing ineffectiveness compared to his early career form has been somewhat alarming.

The Numbers

In terms of the figures, these opposing journeys have merged almost in the same place, with Ronaldo currently on 56 career free kick goals and Messi on 53 all time free kick goals.

To highlight how different their routes to these totals have been, at the end of 2013 Ronaldo was on 41 free kick goals, with Messi on just 14!

Similarly, 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.

There is some rationale behind Messi's relatively late transformation: he wasn't the undisputed free kick taker at Barcelona during his earlier years at the club, playing second-fiddle to Ronaldinho and Xavi until it became clear he was the greater threat.

If we look at how often Messi and Ronaldo score free kicks, it's actually Messi that has the edge here despite scoring less overall. Messi scores a free kick every 16.4 games, whereas Ronaldo scores a free kick every 18.1 games.

Of course, the momentum is seemingly with Messi, and it seems increasingly likely that he will finish with the greater number of free kick goals and ultimately win the battle of the free kick specialists.

Messi Free Kick Conversion Rate (League only)

League SeasonFree Kick AttemptsFree Kick GoalsFree Kick Conversion Rate
2020-2021000%
2019-202043511.6%
2018-201941614.6%
2017-201848612.5%
2016-20173725.4%
2015-201638410.5%
2014-20153725.4%
2014 - present2442510.2%
Overall Totals380369.5%

Ronaldo Free Kick Conversion Rate (League only)

League SeasonFree Kick AttemptsFree Kick GoalsFree Kick Conversion Rate
2020-2021200.0%
2019-20201915.3%
2018-20191600.0%
2017-20181500.0%
2016-20171516.7%
2015-20162613.8%
2014-20153326.1%
2014 - present12654.0%
Overall Totals508316.1%

Interestingly, Messi now takes significantly more free kicks than he used to, whilst Cristiano is actually taking considerably fewer shots from free kicks than earlier in his career.

Before the 2014/15 season, Messi took 136 shots from direct free kicks in 10 La Liga seasons - an average of just 14 per season. Since then however, he has taken 244 shots at goal from free kicks, averaging 34 attempts per season.

In contrast, Ronaldo hit 382 free kick shots in 11 seasons before 2014/15 in the league (not including his season at Sporting) - an average of 35 per season. But since then he's taken 126 shots at goal from free kicks, averaging 18 attempts per season. This is 118 fewer free kick shots than Messi has attempted in the same period.

  • Before 2014/15: Messi 136 free kick shots (14 per season on average)
  • Before 2014/15: Ronaldo 382 free kick shots (35 per season on average)
  • After 2014/15: Messi 244 free kick shots (34 per season on average)
  • After 2014/15: Ronaldo 126 free kick shots (18 per season on average)

Despite this, Messi boasts a considerably better success rate, scoring 10.2% of his free kick shots in the league since 2014/15, with Ronaldo scoring 4.0% of his free kick attempts in the league since 2014/15.

Before 2014/15, Messi scored 8.1% of his free kick attempts (11 from 136), whereas Ronaldo scored 7.1% of his free kick shots (26 of 382).

Overall, in all league seasons played (excluding Ronaldo's season at Sporting), Messi has converted 9.5% of his free kick shots, whereas Ronaldo has converted 6.1% of his free kick shots.

Multiple Free Kicks Scored in a Game

Scoring from a free kick is a relatively rare thing; scoring two in a single game is almost unheard of. But both Messi and Ronaldo have achieved this feat on multiple occasions now.

Messi multiple free kicks in a game

  • 11th Aug 2015 vs Sevilla (7th & 16th min) - UEFA Super Cup Final
  • 8th Dec 2018 vs Espanyol (17th & 65th min) - La Liga
  • 9th Nov 2019 vs Celta de Vigo (45th & 48th min) - La Liga

Ronaldo multiple free kicks in a game

  • 15th Nov 2008 vs Stoke (3rd & 88th min) - Premier League
  • 15th Sep 2009 vs FC Zurich (27th & 89th min) - Champions League Group Stage
  • 15th May 2011 vs Villarreal (22nd & 90th min) - La Liga

🔥 Messi Top 5 Free Kicks

These are obviously subjective, (and there are a lot to choose from!), but these are our picks for the top 5 free kicks of Lionel Messi's career.

  1. 5) Real Madrid - Spanish Super Cup Final 29th August 2012

    To give a goalkeeper like Casillas zero chance from that far out is impressive. To do it in El Clasico in a Spanish Super Cup final is special.

  2. 4) Villarreal x2 - La Liga 8th January 2017 / 2nd April 2019

    You're getting two for the price of one here. I know we said top 5, but these two efforts are basically the same goal against the same opposition, albeit two years apart! Top bins!

  3. 3) Colombia - World Cup Qualifier 15th November 2016

    The accuracy is frightening.

  4. 2) Liverpool - Champions League Semi-final 1st May 2019

    An absolutely sensational effort from distance in a huge match against one of the best goalkeeprs in the world, and arguably the best team in the world at the time.

  5. 1) USA - Copa America 22nd June 2016

    Aesthetically perfect, this free kick was nominated for the Puskas award and it's easy to see why. Stunning.

🔥 Ronaldo Top 5 Free Kicks

  1. 5) Real Zaragoza - La Liga 12th December 2010

    The goalkeeper doesn't even move! A superb knuckleball strike.

  2. 4) Atletico Madrid - La Liga 1st December 2012

    Look how far out it is! And Ronaldo just nonchalently smashes it in, giving Courtois no chance.

  3. 3) Villarreal - La Liga 21st February 2010

    This one is just insane. All that space to the keeper's right and he hammers it into the miniscule space on his left, hitting the inside of the post.

  4. 2) Arsenal - Champions League Semi-final 5th May 2009

    Maybe it's generous putting this one at no.2 as the goalkeeping leaves a lot to be desired here. But the sheer distance on this warrants its spot for us. Unbelievable.

  5. 1) Portsmouth - Premier League 30th January 2008

    Iconic. This one truly astounded Premier League viewers around the world - how did he do it?! To hit it with such pace and yet such control... deadly.

Complete List of Messi Free Kick Goals

A complete list of all Messi free kick goals for Barcelona and Portugal.

DateH/ATeamOpponentScoreCompetitionScore after FK
16/07/2020HBarcelonaOsasuna1-2La Liga1-1
09/11/2019HBarcelonaCelta Vigo4-1La Liga3-1
09/11/2019HBarcelonaCelta Vigo4-1La Liga2-1
29/10/2019HBarcelonaReal Valladolid5-1La Liga3-1
06/10/2019HBarcelonaSevilla4-0La Liga4-0
01/05/2019HBarcelonaLiverpool3-0Champions League3-0
02/04/2019ABarcelonaVillarreal4-4La Liga3-4
30/03/2019HBarcelonaEspanyol2-0La Liga1-0
17/03/2019ABarcelonaReal Betis4-1La Liga1-0
08/12/2018ABarcelonaEspanyol4-0La Liga4-0
08/12/2018ABarcelonaEspanyol4-0La Liga1-0
18/09/2018HBarcelonaPSV Eindhoven4-0Champions League1-0
18/08/2018HBarcelonaAlaves3-0La Liga1-0
07/04/2018HBarcelonaLeganes3-1La Liga1-0
04/03/2018HBarcelonaAtletico Madrid1-0La Liga1-0
01/03/2018ABarcelonaLas Palmas1-1La Liga1-0
24/02/2018HBarcelonaGirona6-1La Liga3-1
28/01/2018HBarcelonaAlaves2-1La Liga2-1
14/01/2018ABarcelonaReal Sociedad4-2La Liga4-2
18/10/2017HBarcelonaOlympiacos3-1Champions League2-0
04/02/2017HBarcelonaAthletic Bilbao3-0La Liga2-0
11/01/2017HBarcelonaAthletic Bilbao3-1Copa del Rey3-1
08/01/2017ABarcelonaVillarreal1-1La Liga1-1
05/01/2017ABarcelonaAthletic Bilbao1-2Copa del Rey1-2
15/11/2016HArgentinaColombia3-0World Cup Qualifier1-0
21/06/2016NArgentinaUSA4-0Copa America2-0
10/06/2016NArgentinaPanama5-0Copa America3-0
08/05/2016HBarcelonaEspanyol5-0La Liga1-0
28/02/2016HBarcelonaSevilla2-1La Liga1-1
14/02/2016HBarcelonaCelta Vigo6-1La Liga1-0
06/01/2016HBarcelonaEspanyol4-1Copa del Rey2-1
12/12/2015HBarcelonaDeportivo La Coruna2-2La Liga1-0
11/08/2015HBarcelonaSevilla5-4UEFA Super Cup1-1
11/08/2015HBarcelonaSevilla5-4UEFA Super Cup2-1
08/02/2015ABarcelonaAthletic Bilbao5-2La Liga1-0
22/11/2014HBarcelonaSevilla5-1La Liga1-0
25/06/2014NArgentinaNigeria3-2World Cup2-1
20/04/2014HBarcelonaAthletic Bilbao2-1La Liga2-1
02/03/2014HBarcelonaAlmeria4-1La Liga2-0
18/09/2013HBarcelonaAjax4-0Champions League1-0
05/05/2013HBarcelonaReal Betis4-2La Liga3-2
16/02/2013ABarcelonaGranada2-1La Liga2-1
13/10/2012HArgentinaUruguay3-0World Cup Qualifier3-0
07/10/2012HBarcelonaReal Madrid2-2La Liga2-1
08/09/2012HArgentinaParaguay3-1World Cup Qualifier3-1
29/08/2012ABarcelonaReal Madrid1-2Supercopa de Espana1-2
05/05/2012HBarcelonaEspanyol4-0La Liga1-0
24/03/2012ABarcelonaMallorca2-0La Liga1-0
26/02/2012ABarcelonaAtletico Madrid2-1La Liga2-1
08/01/2011ABarcelonaDeportivo La Coruna4-0La Liga2-0
06/03/2010ABarcelonaAlmeria2-2La Liga1-1
09/12/2009ABarcelonaDynamo Kyiv2-1Champions League2-1
04/10/2008HBarcelonaAtletico Madrid6-1La Liga3-0

Complete List of Ronaldo Free Kick Goals

A complete list of all Ronaldo free kick goals for Manchester United, Real Madrid, Juventus and Portugal.

DateH/ATeamOpponentScoreCompetitionScore after FK
08/09/2020APortugalSweden1-0UEFA Nations League1-0
04/07/2020HJuventusTorino4-1Serie A3-1
05/06/2019HPortugalSwitzerland3-1UEFA Nations League1-0
15/06/2018NPortugalSpain3-3World Cup3-3
16/12/2017HReal MadridGremio1-0Club World Cup1-0
25/03/2017HPortugalHungary3-0World Cup Qualifier3-0
25/01/2017AReal MadridCelta Vigo2-2Copa del Rey1-1
19/11/2016AReal MadridAtletico Madrid3-0La Liga1-0
14/09/2016HReal MadridSporting CP2-1Champions League1-1
12/04/2016HReal MadridWolfsburg3-0Champions League3-0
05/03/2016HReal MadridCelta Vigo7-1La Liga3-0
08/12/2015HReal MadridMalmo8-0Champions League3-0
23/05/2015HReal MadridGetafe7-3La Liga2-2
11/04/2015HReal MadridEibar3-0La Liga1-0
29/04/2014AReal MadridBayern Munich4-0Champions League4-0
26/03/2014AReal MadridSevilla1-2La Liga1-0
15/01/2014AReal MadridOsasuna2-0Copa del Rey1-0
09/11/2013HReal MadridReal Sociedad5-1La Liga5-1
25/09/2013AReal MadridElche2-1La Liga1-0
06/09/2013APortugalNorthern Ireland4-2World Cup Qualifier4-2
14/04/2013AReal MadridAthletico Bilbao3-0La Liga1-0
06/01/2013HReal MadridReal Sociedad4-3La Liga4-2
01/12/2012HReal MadridAtletico Madrid2-0La Liga1-0
11/04/2012AReal MadridAtletico Madrid4-1La Liga1-0
04/04/2012HReal MadridAPOEL5-2Champions League3-1
31/03/2012AReal MadridOsasuna5-1La Liga4-1
15/11/2011HPortugalBosnia6-2Euro Qualifier Play-off1-0
02/11/2011AReal MadridLyon2-0Champions League1-0
11/10/2011APortugalDenmark1-2Euro Qualifier1-2
10/08/2011HPortugalLuxembourg5-0Friendly2-0
15/05/2011AReal MadridVillarreal3-1La Liga3-1
15/05/2011AReal MadridVillarreal3-1La Liga2-0
12/12/2010AReal MadridReal Zaragoza3-1La Liga2-0
20/11/2010HReal MadridAthletico Bilbao5-1La Liga4-1
19/10/2010HReal MadridAC Milan2-0Champions League1-0
12/10/2010APortugalIceland3-1Euro Qualifier1-0
25/03/2010AReal MadridGetafe4-2La Liga1-0
14/03/2010AReal MadridReal Valladolid4-1La Liga1-0
21/02/2010HReal MadridVillarreal6-2La Liga1-0
08/12/2009AReal MadridMarseille3-1Champions League1-0
15/09/2009AReal MadridFC Zurich5-2Champions League4-2
15/09/2009AReal MadridFC Zurich5-1Champions League1-0
10/05/2009HManchester UnitedManchester City2-0Premier League1-0
05/05/2009AManchester UnitedArsenal3-1Champions League2-0
21/02/2009HManchester UnitedBlackburn2-1Premier League2-1
15/11/2008HManchester UnitedStoke City5-0Premier League5-0
15/11/2008HManchester UnitedStoke City5-0Premier League1-0
19/03/2008HManchester UnitedBolton2-0Premier League2-0
30/01/2008HManchester UnitedPortsmouth2-0Premier League2-0
12/01/2008HManchester UnitedNewcastle6-0Premier League1-0
26/12/2007AManchester UnitedSunderland4-0Premier League3-0
27/11/2007HManchester UnitedSporting CP2-1Champions League2-1
04/11/2006HManchester UnitedPortsmouth3-0Premier League2-0
04/02/2006HManchester UnitedFulham4-2Premier League2-0
04/06/2005HPortugalSlovakia2-0World Cup Qualifier2-0
01/11/2003HManchester UnitedPortsmouth3-0Premier League2-0

If you’re looking for more free kick stats, contact us on Twitter at @mvsrapp, and we’ll do our best to help.

Stats Updated Sep 21, 8:23 PM UTC