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Messi Versus Ronaldo Rivalry Best Footballers of Their Generation

Updated on April 4, 2020
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Image of Ronaldo and Messi

image of ronaldo in white and black jersey, messi in red and blue jersey
image of ronaldo in white and black jersey, messi in red and blue jersey


Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are regarded as the best footballers in the world. Their high competitive level, amazing athleticism, only fuel the rivalry and discussions between sports journalists, pundits or fans. Two of the best players of their generation they have won combined 11 Ballon d’Or/FIFA Ballon d’Or awards.

Most decorated players with 65 trophies 32 Messi, 34 Ronaldo, accurate marksmanship over 700 career goals 50 goals each per season only adds to their legend. Debates revolve around individual merit, trophies, contrasting styles, physicality, personality and earnings.

Both players combined have earned over $200 million split equally. The first time they played opposite each other was 2007/2008 UEFA Champions League semi-finals Manchester United (Ronaldo) vs. Barcelona (Messi). Manchester advanced to final and Ronaldo was awarded Ballon d’Or same year. Next encounter was a 2-0 thrashing of Manchester United by Barcelona with Messi scoring a decisive header in 70th minute in 2009 UEFA Champions League Final.


The relationship between the two players is at best cordial. Although there is an atmosphere of tension when they meet however Messi denies the rivalry. Ronaldo on his part commented: “We look at the rivalry with positive spirit, because it’s a good thing” however they don’t have any relationship outside football.

Trophies and awards

Trophies and awards
Trophies and awards

Awards and Records - 2019/2020 all competitions

Both players have been astounding this year 2020 despite the unfortunate postponement of all sports activity due to the corona virus pandemic. Their rivalry is best expressed in both players performance in all competitions excluding national assignments.

In league matches Messi has scored 19 goals appearance 22 assists 12. Ronaldo for his club Juventus have scored 21 goals 2 assist, 22 appearance. Championship league Messi 6 APPS 3 assist 2 goals while Ronaldo 2 goals no assists 7 APPS.

Other cup played between the two are Copa Italia, Super coppa Italia and Club World Cups. More are UEFA Super Cup, Spanish Super Cup Copa Del Ray. Messi score 3 goals 1 asset 3 APPS while Ronald scored 2 goals, 0 assists 3 appearances.

FC Barcelona Footballer's holding Cup

FC Barcelona Footballer's holding Cup
FC Barcelona Footballer's holding Cup

League matches

Messi (Spanish League)

  • scored 19 goals
  • appearance 22
  • assists 12

Ronaldo (Italian League)

  • 21 goals
  • 2 assist
  • 22 APPS

Championship league


  • 2 goals
  • 3 assists
  • 6 APPS


  • 2 goals
  • 0 assists
  • 7 APPS

Other cups


  • 3 goals
  • 1 asset
  • 3 APPS

Ronald scored

  • 2 goals
  • 0 assists
  • 3 APPS



2018/2019 all competitions-(winner Messi)

In all competitions excluding country games in 2018/2019 Messi is clearly the better. Messi scored a total of 51 goals while Ronaldo scored 28 goals. Apps 50 for Messi 43 Ronaldo assists 19 Messi 10 Ronaldo. All competitions breakdown for 2018/2019 for Messi is 36 goals league games, 13 assist, 34 apps. Ronaldo had 21 goals 8 assists 31 apps.

Championship games were not different Messi had the upper hand. He scored 12 goals, 3 assists 10 apps, Ronaldo 6 goals 2 assists 9 apps. In other cups that year Messi scored 3 goals 3 assists 6apps, Ronaldo 1 goal, 0 assists 3 apps.

2017/2018 All Competitions-(draw)

In all competitions excluding country games in 2018/2019 it is clearly a draw. All competition goals from Messi is 45 Ronaldo 44. Appearance Messi 54 Ronaldo 44 assists messi18, Ronaldo assists 8. LaLiga games Messi scored 34 goals, 12 assists, 36 apps. Ronaldo scored 26 goals, 5 assists 27 apps. Ronaldo has an upper hand in championship games. He scored 15 goals 3 assists 13 apps, Messi 6 goals, 2 assists 10 apps. Other cups Messi 5 goals 4 assists8apps, Ronaldo 3 goals 0 assists 4 apps.

Messi all competitions

Champions League
Other Cups

Ronaldo all competitions

Champions League
Other Cups

Spanish league football

Ronaldo’s all competition (real Madrid 09/10 until 2017/2018)

A logical way to compare the two players is when Ronaldo was in real Madrid, he played for the club in all competitions from 09/10 until 2017/2018. He scored 311 goals LALIGA, 105 Champions league, 34 other cups. This brings his total to 450 goals in all competitions, 118 assists and 438 APPS.

Messi all competition (Barcelona 09/10 until 2017/2018)

Total goals are 329 LALIGA 83 Champions League 60 Other cups. Number of assists 122 LALIGA20 Champions league 34 other cups. APPS309 LALIGA 92Champions league 75 other cups.

Cristiano Ronaldo vs Lionel Messi - Top 10 Skills

Honors- 2018/2019(Draw)

Both players have accumulated many honors for their respective clubs. Lionel Messi honors in 2018/2019 are European gold shoe Spanish super cup LaLiga trophy. Cristiano Ronaldo honors 2018/2019 seria A, supercoppa Italia UEFA Nations League.



  1. European gold shoe
  2. Spanish super cup
  3. LaLiga trophy


  1. seria A
  2. supercoppa Italia
  3. UEFA Nations League



2017/2018(Win Ronaldo)

In 20017 Ronaldo clearly ahead in trophies with 5 trophies while messi has 2 trophies and a golden boot.



  1. Golden boot
  2. Copa Del Ray
  3. Laliga


  1. Champions League
  2. Spanish Super CUP
  3. Club world Cup
  4. UEFA Super Cup
  5. Ballon d’Or

Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo

2016/ 2017(win Ronaldo)

Messi: European Golden Shoe, Copa Del Ray, Spanish Super Cup

Ronaldo: Champions League, LaLiga, Club World Cup, UEFA Super Cup, Ballon d’Or

2015/2016(Win Messi)

Messi: Ballon d’Or, UEFA Super Cup, Club World Cup, Copa Del Ray, LaLiga

Ronaldo: European Cup, Champions League

2009/2014(Winner Messi)

Messi won 23 trophies from 2009/2014 while his rival won 12 trophies.


The rivalry between both players has elevated the sport and increased awareness of the beautiful game. Age wise they are at the twilight of their career regardless expect more record breaking performance from the duo.

Who is the Best

In your opinion who is the best player between the two?

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