This chart shows all the goals scored by Messi and Cristiano, sorted by seasons. We can see that Cristiano began his career as a professional two years before Messi, in season 2002/2003, and that his scoring records did not begin to highlight until season 2006/2007, in which he scored 23 for Manchester United and 5 for Portugal.
Instead Messi, who started as a professional in the season 2004/2005, began making a name in the season 2008/2009 with 38 goals for F.C. Barcelona and 3 for Argentina. For both, the scoring explosion came at their 5th season in professional football. We can also see that in the first 4 years of the career of Messi, Cristiano was above in the scoring aspect. Messi then dominated for 5 consecutive seasons from 2008/09 to 2012/13. Cristiano won by 13 goals in the 2013/2014 season and by 7 in 2014/2015.
This chart shows the sum of all the goals scored by Cristiano and Messi.
We can see that the greater distance between the two was in the season 2007/2008, after which Cristiano was ahead of Messi on 66 goals (118-52). Later, with the scoring explosion of Messi, he came to be in the 2012/2013 season only 13 goals away from Portuguese star (363-350).
This chart shows all the goals scored by Messi and Cristiano according to their age, arranging them as if they were born in the same year.
We can see that both began his career in professional football at 17 years old. Cristiano at Sporting Lisbon and Messi at FC Barcelona. In that first season, Cristiano scored 5 times, Messi only 1. From there, at 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24 and 25 years old, Messi has always done better records than Cristiano Ronaldo, emphasizing especially the result at 24 years old, when he scored 85 goals, while the Portuguese scored only 34 goals at that age.
At season 2013/2014, when Messi was 26 years old, his records were much lower than those of Cristiano Ronaldo at 26 (20 goals less). Last season, the 28-year-old Messi equaled the 59 goals Cristiano Ronaldo got at that age.
This chart shows the sum of all the goals from Cristiano and Messi attending to their ages.
We can see that from 19 to 25 years old, Messi has been distancing itself increasingly from the records of Cristiano with the same age and, when they reach 26, Cristiano began to recover some ground to the Argentine.
At 29, Cristiano Ronaldo had scored 425 goals. Messi, who has not attained the age of 29, 457. This has already been happening since Messi was 23 years old, when he had more goals than Cristiano Ronaldo had done at 24 years old. Also at 24 years old he surpassed the 25-year-old Cristiano, at 25 the 26-year-old Cristiano, at 26 the 27-year-old Cristiano and at 27 the 28-year-old Cristiano. At 28, Messi had scored more than 30 goals more than Cristiano Ronaldo at 29.
No data are available to assess the effectiveness of Messi and Cristiano in free kicks. If someone could give us the number of free kicks thrown by season, we could calculate the averages to see which one is better.
What we do know for sure is that Cristiano has scored more free kicks than Messi throughout their careers.
Free kick goals in La Liga:
Cristiano Ronaldo: 18 goals, 275 attempts (6,5%)
Messi: 16 goals, 198 attempts (8%)
— Messi vs Cristiano (@michelinho80) 29 de febrero de 2016