Help and Advice

Issues with other stats sites

Read about the issues with other websites and stats providers, and where they've gone wrong regarding Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo stats. I'll explain why Opta's word isn't quite gospel, and why Transfermarkt is a patchy source at best.

Issues with Transfermarkt

Here are the known issues on Transfermarkt - there may be more we haven't yet caught.

Free Kicks

  • Missing a Ronaldo free kick goal vs Portsmouth in 04/11/2006
  • They count Ronaldo’s goal vs Aston Villa on 05/04/2009 as a direct free kick goal - this was actually an indirect free kick inside the box - Ryan Giggs rolled the free kick to Ronaldo who then scored. Ronaldo also scored one like this vs Malaga, but Transfermarkt do not count that one.


  • Missing a Messi penalty goal vs Switzerland 29/02/2012
  • Includes 2 Messi penalties scored in the U20 World Cup (these don’t count toward official senior stats)
  • Missing a Ronaldo penalty miss vs Valencia 29/04/2017
  • When viewing a list of penalty goals/misses, the International “seasons” are slightly messed up - e.g. penalties taken in 2013 are listed as part of the 2011/12 season

Assists - Ronaldo

The most widely accepted assist definition in football is most certainly Opta's, which states that the last touch leading to a team mate scoring a goal is an assist. There is another brand of assist though which Opta collect as "Fantasy Assists" - these include deflected passes, rebounded shots, own goal assists and penalties won. Transfermarkt uses this looser definition for their assist stats, however they are extremely inconsistent with their application of this definition, missing many from their records.

List of Ronaldo assists that Transfermarkt are missing.

DateOpponentCompetitionAssist TypeMissing / Incorrect Inclusion
30/10/2002Partizan BelgradeUEFA CupDeflected⚠️ Missing
14/12/2002LeiriaLiga NOSOpta⚠️ Missing
20/08/2003KazakhstanInt. FriendlyN/A Incorrect inclusion (defender clears and it bounces in off Simao - Ronaldo not involved)
14/02/2004Man CityFA CupN/A Incorrect inclusion (team mate gets final touch)
26/12/2004BoltonPremier LeagueOpta⚠️ Missing
14/02/2005Northern IrelandInt. FriendlyOwn goal assist⚠️ Missing
29/09/2018NapoliSerie APost reound⚠️ Missing
10/02/2019SassuoloSerie AGK reound⚠️ Missing
22/12/2019LazioSupercoppa ItalianaGK reound⚠️ Missing
26/07/2020SampdoriaSerie AGK reound⚠️ Missing
20/09/2020SampdoriaSerie AOpta⚠️ Missing

Assists - Messi

List of Messi assists that Transfermarkt are missing.

DateOpponentCompetitionAssist TypeMissing / Incorrect Inclusion
11/05/2008MallorcaLa LigaDeflected⚠️ Missing
11/05/2008MallorcaLa LigaGK rebound⚠️ Missing
25/10/2008AlmeriaLa LigaOpta⚠️ Missing
04/05/2010TenerifeLa LigaDeflected⚠️ Missing
08/05/2010SevillaLa LigaDeflected⚠️ Missing
07/11/2010GetafeLa LigaOpta⚠️ Missing
07/11/2010GetafeLa LigaDeflected⚠️ Missing
19/02/2012ValenciaLa LigaDeflected⚠️ Missing
20/03/2012GranadaLa LigaGk rebound⚠️ Missing
22/09/2012GranadaLa LigaOwn goal assist⚠️ Missing
10/02/2013GetafeLa LigaDeflected⚠️ Missing
14/09/2013SevillaLa LigaGk rebound⚠️ Missing
02/03/2014AlmeriaLa LigaPost rebound⚠️ Missing
31/08/2014VillarrealLa LigaGk rebound⚠️ Missing
09/05/2015Real SociedadLa LigaDeflected⚠️ Missing
18/12/2016EspanyolLa LigaGk rebound⚠️ Missing
05/04/2017SevillaLa LigaDeflected⚠️ Missing
23/04/2017Real MadridLa LigaDeflected⚠️ Missing
29/04/2017EspanyolLa LigaDeflected⚠️ Missing
19/09/2017EibarLa LigaPost rebound⚠️ Missing
18/11/2017LeganesLa LigaDeflected⚠️ Missing
17/12/2017Deportivo La CorunaLa LigaPost rebound⚠️ Missing
22/12/2018Celta VigoLa LigaGk rebound⚠️ Missing
20/01/2019LeganesLa LigaGk rebound⚠️ Missing
08/07/2020EspanyolLa LigaDeflected⚠️ Missing
01/10/2020Celta VigoLa LigaGk rebound⚠️ Missing
04/10/2020SevillaLa LigaDeflected⚠️ Missing
14/09/2010PanathinaikosChampions LeaguePost rebound⚠️ Missing
03/04/2012AC MilanChampions LeagueDeflected⚠️ Missing
24/02/2015Man CityChampions LeagueDeflected⚠️ Missing
12/09/2017JuventusChampions LeagueDeflected⚠️ Missing
28/02/2007Real ZaragozaCopa del ReyDeflected⚠️ Missing
10/11/2010AD CuetaCopa del ReyDeflected⚠️ Missing
07/02/2017Atletico MadridCopa del ReyGK Rebound⚠️ Missing
17/01/2019LevanteCopa del ReyDeflected⚠️ Missing
12/08/2018SevillaSupercopa de EspanaPost rebound⚠️ Missing
09/07/2007PeruCopa AmericaGK rebound⚠️ Missing
06/09/2011NigeriaInt. FriendlyGK rebound⚠️ Missing
06/02/2013SwedenInt. FriendlyGK rebound⚠️ Missing
04/06/2014TrinidadInt. FriendlyPost rebound⚠️ Missing
11/12/2014CroatiaInt. FriendlyOpta⚠️ Missing

Issues with Opta

Opta Assist Issues

First of all, Opta are the best stats provider in the football industry today, but even they can make mistakes. I will continue to use Opta's assist numbers unless it is absolutely clear they have made a mistake.

According to some of their posts on Twitter, Opta appear to have Messi on 2 fewer Barcelona assists than most other sources that use the Opta assist definition.

I have been able to verify that the discrepancy lies somewhere in Messi's Copa del Rey assists - however upon checking all of them, I can confirm that they all fit the definition, with none of them appearing to be even relatively questionable. It's possible that Opta may not have covered certain Copa games throughout Messi's career, such as ones from earlier rounds, so may be missing statistics from these games.

Other Opta Issues

Another minor issue with Opta is that they have a Ronaldo goal vs Dortmund (24/10/2012) as inside the box - footage shows this was clearly outside the box.

Updated May 19, 7:00 PM UTC