Outside the Box Goals (open play) - All Messi and Ronaldo Goals From Outside the Box

Outside the box goals do not include direct free kick goals

All Time Career Outside the box goals (open play)

Messi All Time Career Outside the Box Goals

78 Outside the box goals (open play)

Messi scores from outside the box every 12.0 games

Ronaldo All Time Career Outside the Box Goals

57 Outside the box goals (open play)

Ronaldo scores from outside the box every 19.0 games

All Time Club Outside the box goals (open play)

Messi All Time Club Outside the Box Goals

68 Outside the box goals (open play)

Messi scores from outside the box every 11.5 games

Ronaldo All Time Club Outside the Box Goals

46 Outside the box goals (open play)

Ronaldo scores from outside the box every 19.6 games

League Outside the box goals (open play)

Messi League Outside the Box Goals

48 Outside the box goals (open play)

Messi scores from outside the box every 10.9 games

Ronaldo League Outside the Box Goals

35 Outside the box goals (open play)

Ronaldo scores from outside the box every 17.6 games

Champions League Outside the box goals (open play)

Messi Champions League Outside the Box Goals

15 Outside the box goals (open play)

Messi scores from outside the box every 10.3 games

Ronaldo Champions League Outside the Box Goals

8 Outside the box goals (open play)

Ronaldo scores from outside the box every 23.3 games

Other Club Cups Outside the box goals (open play)

Messi Other Club Cups Outside the Box Goals

5 Outside the box goals (open play)

Messi scores from outside the box every 21.8 games

Ronaldo Other Club Cups Outside the Box Goals

3 Outside the box goals (open play)

Ronaldo scores from outside the box every 34.7 games

International Outside the box goals (open play)

Messi International Outside the Box Goals

10 Outside the box goals (open play)

Messi scores from outside the box every 15.6 games

Ronaldo International Outside the Box Goals

11 Outside the box goals (open play)

Ronaldo scores from outside the box every 16.5 games

Messi & Ronaldo Goals From Outside the Box

All stats on this page will auto-update

First of all, all of the stats on this page do not include free kick goals unless otherwise stated. You can find everything you want to know about Messi and Ronaldo free kick stats over on the Free Kicks page.

Ronaldo forms a lasting reputation

It didn't take long for Ronaldo to start showcasing his ability to shoot from distance, scoring some sensational goals from range during his time at Manchester United. He scored 10 open play goals from outside the box in 6 seasons for Man Utd (excluding free kicks), some of which were truly spectacular.

His most famous effort was an astonishing strike from almost 40 yards against Porto in the Champions League, which later earned him the coveted Puskas Award for the best goal of 2009.

When Ronaldo moved to Real Madrid and began to enter his peak years, the number of open play goals he scored from outside the box increased, hitting 29 during his 9 seasons at Madrid. However, the last few years have seen a gradual decline, managing 1 open play outside the box goal in his last Real season and 3 in his first two seasons at Juventus.

It's Messi who comes out on top

Despite Ronaldo's reputation for long-distance goals, it's actually Messi who has scored more goals from outside the box during their respective careers, even having played 144 fewer games than his rival. Messi has 78 career open play goals from outside the box, whereas Ronaldo has scored 57 outside the box goals.

Ronaldo's most open play goals from outside the box in a season is 6, which he registered in the 11/12 season.

Messi has hit 6 or more from outside the box on six separate occasions; 09/10 (8), 10/11 (7), 12/13 (6), 13/14 (6), 16/17 (10) and 20/21 (6).

Having scored more in less games, it also figures that Messi scores from outside the penalty area significantly more frequently than his counterpart. Messi scores from outside the box every 12.0 games, with Ronaldo netting from outside the box every 19.0 games.

Long Range Goal Style

It's worth noting the contrasting style of Messi and Ronaldo's goals from outside the box. Messi's tend to be bent in from the edge of the D with controlled power. He is considerably less likely to take pot-shots from long range, preferring to dribble or continue the build-up play until he's in a more likely scoring position. However this is not to say he doesn't have the ability to score from further out, as he often proves with his long-distance free kicks.

Ronaldo on the other hand is more partial to your typical "screamer", often attempting thunderous efforts from 25+ yards out. He is much more willing to hit speculative efforts, with the confidence that he has the ability and power to beat the keeper from almost anywhere.

Overall, despite Ronaldo's reputation for powerful long range efforts, it's not really surprising that Messi has the better numbers in this category, and here's why...

Messi is not a penalty box striker; he's a deep-lying forward who naturally looks for space around the edge of the box, and his curled efforts from the edge of the D are practically his trademark goal. Ronaldo on the other hand has increasingly morphed into your typical centre-forward, looking to finish moves in the penalty area rather than receiving the ball in deep positions.

Outside The Box Goals + Free Kick Goals

If we bundle in all outside the box goals and free kick goals together, the numbers are:

  • Messi: 136 goals (58 free kick goals + 78 goals from outside the box)
  • Ronaldo: 113 goals (56 free kick goals + 57 goals from outside the box)

If you’re looking for more stats on goals from outside the box, contact us on Twitter at @mvsrapp, and we’ll do our best to help.

Updated Oct 15, 1:28 AM UTC