Free Kick Goals - Messi vs Ronaldo Free Kick Goals and Conversion Rates

All Time Career Free Kicks

Messi All Time Career Free Kicks

65 Free Kicks

Messi scores a free kick every 16.4 games

Ronaldo All Time Career Free Kicks

63 Free Kicks

Ronaldo scores a free kick every 19.5 games

All Time Club Free Kicks

Messi All Time Club Free Kicks

54 Free Kicks

Messi scores a free kick every 16.3 games

Ronaldo All Time Club Free Kicks

52 Free Kicks

Ronaldo scores a free kick every 19.6 games

League Free Kicks

Messi League Free Kicks

41 Free Kicks

Messi scores a free kick every 14.5 games

Ronaldo League Free Kicks

37 Free Kicks

Ronaldo scores a free kick every 18.9 games

Champions League Free Kicks

Messi Champions League Free Kicks

5 Free Kicks

Messi scores a free kick every 23.9 games

Ronaldo Champions League Free Kicks

12 Free Kicks

Ronaldo scores a free kick every 16.1 games

Other Club Cups Free Kicks

Messi Other Club Cups Free Kicks

8 Free Kicks

Messi scores a free kick every 15.4 games

Ronaldo Other Club Cups Free Kicks

3 Free Kicks

Ronaldo scores a free kick every 46.0 games

International Free Kicks

Messi International Free Kicks

11 Free Kicks

Messi scores a free kick every 16.6 games

Ronaldo International Free Kicks

11 Free Kicks

Ronaldo scores a free kick every 19.0 games

Messi & Ronaldo Free Kick Record

All stats on this page will auto-update

One of Ronaldo's 63 free kick goals was from an indirect free kick inside the box (where the free kick was rolled to Ronaldo to score) - if the lay-off is short enough it is considered by Opta as a free kick goal.

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 free kick goals in each of his last 2 seasons, and then continued this dead ball 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 scored only 1 free kick goal in 3 seasons at Juventus.

Messi's journey as a free kick specialist has been almost the exact opposite 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 30). 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 63 career free kick goals and Messi now on 65 all time free kick goals.

To highlight how different their routes to these totals have been, at the end of 2013 Ronaldo was on 39 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.

Similarly, Ronaldo's decline in free kick goals can be partly explained by the fact he takes considerably fewer free kicks now than he used to earlier in his career. This reduction in free kick attempts can be attributed to Ronaldo having played with other free kick specialists in recent years such as Bale, Modric, Pjanic and Dybala - as well as Ronaldo often preferring to take up a position in the box where in previous years he might have gone for a direct attempt on goal.

If we look at how often Messi and Ronaldo score free kicks, it's Messi that has the edge here. Messi scores a free kick every 16.4 games, whereas Ronaldo scores a free kick every 19.5 games.

After surpassing Ronaldo's career total, 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.

Types of Free Kick Goals

Messi and Ronaldo have scored a very similar number of free kick goals, but the way they've scored them has been very different.

Messi adopts a more traditional style, typically bending the ball into one of the corners from around 20-25 yards out, although he has scored a handful from 30+ yards. When right on the edge of the area he tends to hit the ball with force, arrowing the ball into one of the top corners. He's also scored several that he's aimed underneath the wall, playing his part in triggering the trend of teams opting to lay a player on the floor behind their wall.

Cristiano Ronaldo on the other hand utilises the knuckleball technique, smashing the ball with his laces to avoid any spin, causing it to swerve and dip unpredictably towards the goal. This method is a lot more effective from distance than a ball struck with spin, as it gives the goalkeeper less time to adjust and the ball more time to snake through the air.

Subsequently, Ronaldo's free kick goals have been scored from a much greater variety of positions than Messi's - many from seemingly impossible distances!

Messi Free Kick Conversion Rate (League only)

League SeasonFree Kick AttemptsFree Kick GoalsFree Kick Conversion Rate
2014 - present320309.4%
Overall Totals456419.0%

Ronaldo Free Kick Conversion Rate (League only)

League SeasonFree Kick AttemptsFree Kick GoalsFree Kick Conversion Rate
2014 - present15064.0%
Overall Totals532377.0%

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 320 shots at goal from free kicks, averaging 26 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 150 shots at goal from free kicks, averaging 12 attempts per season. This is 170 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 320 free kick shots (26 per season on average)
  • After 2014/15: Ronaldo 150 free kick shots (12 per season on average)

Despite this, Messi boasts a considerably better success rate, scoring 9.4% 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 9.0% of his free kick shots, whereas Ronaldo has converted 7.0% 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
  • 2nd April 2024 vs Abha (11th & 21st min) - Saudi Pro League

Complete List of Messi Free Kick Goals

A complete list of all Messi free kick goals for Barcelona, PSG and Argentina.

DateH/ATeamOpponentScoreCompetitionScore after FK
07/09/2023HArgentinaEcuador1-0World Cup Qualifier1-0
06/08/2023AInter MiamiFC Dallas4-4Leagues Cup4-4
22/07/2023HInter MiamiCruz Azul2-1Leagues Cup2-1
23/03/2023HArgentinaPanama2-0International Friendly2-0
19/02/2023HParis Saint-GermainLille4-3Ligue 14-3
01/10/2022HParis Saint-GermainNice2-1Ligue 11-0
28/09/2022NArgentinaJamaica3-0International Friendly3-0
03/07/2021NArgentinaEcuador3-0Copa America3-0
14/06/2021NArgentinaChile1-1Copa America1-0
02/05/2021ABarcelonaValencia3-2La Liga3-1
31/01/2021HBarcelonaAthletic Bilbao2-1La Liga1-0
09/01/2021ABarcelonaGranada4-0La Liga3-0
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 Cristiano 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
23/03/2023HPortugalLiechtenstein4-0Euro Qualifier4-0
18/03/2023HAl-NassrAbha2-1Saudi Pro League1-1
16/04/2022HManchester UnitedNorwich City3-2Premier League3-2
08/09/2020APortugalSweden2-0UEFA 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
08/05/2013HReal MadridMalaga6-2La Liga2-1
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
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.

Updated Jun 22, 6:16 PM UTC