Messi vs Ronaldo All Time International Stats

All Time Internationals

Messi Stats All Time Internationals All Time Argentina

  • 70Goals
  • 42Assists
  • 138Apps
  • 161mins per goal
  • 101mins per goal contribution

Ronaldo Stats All Time Internationals All Time Portugal

  • 99Goals
  • 28Assists
  • 164Apps
  • 132mins per goal
  • 103mins per goal contribution

Competitive Internationals

Messi Stats Competitive Internationals All Time Argentina

  • 36Goals
  • 27Assists
  • 91Apps
  • 213mins per goal
  • 122mins per goal contribution

Ronaldo Stats Competitive Internationals All Time Portugal

  • 82Goals
  • 21Assists
  • 117Apps
  • 123mins per goal
  • 98mins per goal contribution

International Friendlies

Messi Stats International Friendlies All Time Argentina

  • 34Goals
  • 15Assists
  • 47Apps
  • 107mins per goal
  • 74mins per goal contribution

Ronaldo Stats International Friendlies All Time Portugal

  • 17Goals
  • 7Assists
  • 47Apps
  • 174mins per goal
  • 123mins per goal contribution

Messi and Ronaldo International Stats

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Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have both had impressive international careers for Argentina and Portugal respectively.

Messi is Argentina's all time top goalscorer with 70 goals in 138 caps, scoring 0.51 goals per game. He's also Argentina's all time top provider with 42 assists.

Likewise, Ronaldo is Portugal's all time leading goalscorer with an incredible 99 goals in 164 caps, scoring an average of 0.60 goals per game.

If we look at minutes played, Messi scores a goal every 161.2 minutes, whilst Ronaldo scores a goal every 131.8 minutes.

Factoring in assists, Messi directly contributes to a goal every 100.8 minutes for Argentina, with Ronaldo scoring or assisting every 102.7 minutes for Portugal.

Clearly, both players have contributed to their national teams significantly and prolifically, and have done so for over 15 years. This is univerally accepted as far as Cristiano is concerned; unfortunately though, there is a popular Messi myth often parroted by casual football fans.

Dispelling the Messi myth

We've all heard someone say it at some point...

"Messi has never done it at international level"

This narrative has materialised through Messi's unfortunate record of having lost 4 major international finals with Argentina. However, this is akin to reading the headline and not the full article.

Curiously, many people seem to struggle with the concept that reaching the final is better than not reaching the final, and Argentina have done this on four separate occasions during Messi's senior career. They have lost just one of these matches during normal time, losing once in extra-time and twice on penalties.

It's tragically unfortunate to finish as runners-up four times (particularly in the aforementioned circumstances), but it seems odd to suggest Messi is an international failure because his side regularly made the top 2, but not the top 1.

If Higuain had finished one of his glorious chances in these finals, then it's likely that Messi would be lauded as an international success, which is a neat summary of everything that is wrong with the way footballers are analysed.

It's probable that some well-meaning individuals fall into the "Messi has never done it at international level" trap because his goal return of 0.51 goals per game is significantly lower than what he registers at Barcelona. However, the same is true for Ronaldo, with his 0.60 goals per game considerably lower than his club level averages. Not to mention that 0.5 goals per game is the yardstick typically used to measure elite strikers; yet another case of Messi being a victim of his own absurd standards.

Leo Messi also plays differently for Argentina than he does for Barcelona, adopting a deeper, more playmaker-centric role. This is borne out in the fact that Messi has provided a whopping 42 assists on top of his 70 goals. As a result, Messi actually has a slightly better minutes per goal/assist record than Ronaldo at international level (100.8 mins per G/A to 102.7 mins per G/A).

If you're still in any doubt, let's look at some of the records Messi has set at international level.

  • πŸ… Most goals scored in CONMEBOL World Cup qualifiers (shared with Suarez)
  • πŸ… Only player to score for Argentina against every CONMEBOL nation
  • πŸ… Most Man of the Match awards at a single World Cup - 4 in 2014
  • πŸ… World Cup Golden Ball and Copa America Golden Ball winner for player of the tournament
  • πŸ… Most goals scored in a calendar year for Argentina: 12 goals in 2012
  • πŸ… Most hat-tricks for Argentina: 6 hat-tricks

Messi also posted some exceptional stats in his stand-out 2014 World Cup:

  • 4 goals
  • 1 assist
  • 23 key passes (most in tournament)
  • 46 dribbles (most since 1986)
  • 4 MOTM awards (World Cup record)

The key difference between Maradona in 1986 and Messi in 2014, is that Burruchaga scored from Maradona's pass, whereas Higuain did not score from Messi's pass.

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International Stats UpdatedΒ Jun 18, 10:31 PM UTC