Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo: Goals, free kicks, hat-tricks

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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.

Free kick goals scored by Cristiano Ronaldo and Leo Messi

Free kick goals scored by Cristiano Ronaldo and Leo Messi

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.

Hat-tricks registered by Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi

Hat-tricks registered by Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi

74 Responses

  1. Bob hoha December 27, 2016 / 12:07

    Cr7 the greatest footballer of all time.

    • Arsh Wahi January 8, 2017 / 21:38

      Lol 😂

    • meen January 9, 2017 / 20:58

      Are you mad 😂😂

    • TheCshe January 13, 2017 / 21:08

      Messi, Ronaldinho, Maradona, Pele, Romario, Ronaldo (the real one) and Rivaldo are a volleyball players or what ?!!

  2. henrikson December 30, 2016 / 11:16

    shut the fuck up you ronaldo puppets , ronaldo started football before messi ,and messi i stills the Best, wait till messi is his age and look at how far he will give ronaldo a gap. love leo the god of futball and beside ronaldo i very stingy need to go to his to teach him how to assist,and also messi understand futball tatics more than ronaldo do just plays scores as a football machine but messi is still the best in THE HISTORY OF FUTBALL messi caculates and also takes it slow he knows when to it and speed up.

    • Andrew January 12, 2017 / 16:31

      1U are d biggest fool have seen here…..Ronaldo started his career @sporting-man u-rmadrid do yhu know what it takes to have change of environment nd change of team mates nd yet still perform perfectly..compared to some1 who sticker imxef to a particular club with great midfield maestro…. 2 You are a fool for comparing EPL goal ratio to that of La Liga where teams lyk eidbar, elche&co got beaten 16-1 home&away…..Suarez 110 matches-69 goals in EPL compared tl 120matches – 100goals La Liga….nd u here saying damn rubbish

      • yano January 12, 2017 / 22:45

        Messi played at the biggest stage at a younger age nd has kept that form for over a decade.. Ronaldo started as an underdog without any pressure.. Messi was a 17 yrs old boy who had the pressure of playing along side legends!!!

  3. TrueStory January 7, 2017 / 12:24

    @Henrikson…ur love for the small boy aka messi makes me wonder…mmmmm! The day messi gets outa his comfort zone aka barca and does what he is doin now…thn il bow down! Until thn..cr7 remains th world’s best…proofd himslf on diffrnt play-fields! Thnk about tat…stop being so ignorant! No one said messi aint good…bt comon! Th boy stil suffers from panic attacks…take him outa his comfort zone and ul see: penalties;international big games etc…

    • King January 8, 2017 / 23:08

      @truestory……i guess you trynna say madrid was in terrible shape when they bought cr7 ry?😂😂😂😂that’s the only argument cr7 fans got….pitty…so i guess ibramovic is better than cr7 ry since he’s been successful everywhere he’s been….lame comment@truestory….what’s king ronaldo to god Messi?….suck on that boy…

      • Andrew January 12, 2017 / 16:35

        @king How dumb of you….@truestory gave yhu a point to prove which you fail to counter….nd yhu here saying trash….lemme add diz to it….. CR7 proved imxef with his ohm team 😝😝😝😜😜😜💃💃💃

    • Redwan January 9, 2017 / 03:04

      How about the times he versed man city n alk that he scored free kicks and goals that should explain everything

    • Abcdefg8! January 10, 2017 / 14:03

      Messi makes Barca such a force to reckon with not the vice-versa. See his Argentine team contribution. FYI.
      IMO we should enjoy both one-in-a-generation players.

    • Doug Farias January 12, 2017 / 04:32

      Except Messi has proven himself outside of Barca. His record with the national team is better. His penalty rate with Argentina is miles ahead of Ronaldo’s with Portugal (Messi’s penalty shootout miss last year was his first shootout miss for the National Team, and it was basically negated because Vidal missed as well). Messi has had to carry Argentina more often than not. Compare Portugal and Argentina in the 2014 World Cup. Neither team performed exceptionally well in the group stages, but Messi showed up and pulled Argentina through while Ronaldo and Portugal flew back home after 3 games. Between the 2015 and 2016 Copa Americas, Messi played 11 games and was Man of the Match 7 times (he was also Argentina’s Man of the Match for both finals). Ronaldo played 6 complete matches in the 2016 Euro and got Man of the Match honors twice. The other games he played, he played worse than Messi did in all but one Copa match (the 45 minutes he played against Bolivia in 2016).

      As Ronaldo has gotten older, his teams have started to rely less on him because he can be extremely wasteful with his shooting (first 2 games of the Euro are a perfect example, 20 shots, 4 on target). Plus, while Ronaldo’s short passing is great, he is average to below average with long passing, crosses, and through balls. Instead, Real and Portugal wait to capitalize on one of his beast-mode performances (Hungary in the Euro and Wolfsburg in the UCL are two great examples).

  4. STUART THOMAS BOXALL January 9, 2017 / 18:41

    Henrikson, there’s no need to be rude or aggressive. OK so you prefer Messi, other people prefer Ronaldo. Just because someone disagrees with you, this does not make them a Ronaldo puppet. If you prefer Messi you could clearly be called a Messi puppet. You are not a puppet and nor are the Ronaldo likers puppets,,,,,Messi and Ronaldo are simply the best 2 players of this era/generation, please just leave it at that.

    • Fadi saylee January 10, 2017 / 05:59

      Thanks for your wise saying

  5. Fadi saylee January 10, 2017 / 06:02

    I say Cristiano is the best player over messi,it takes determination to do what ronaldo is doing in football. He dominated in portugal Lisbon,england Manchester united,and spain real Madrid. Apart from spain Barcelona,where has messi played and dominate?

    • Míchel Acosta January 10, 2017 / 22:48

      Messi is Argentina’s all-time top goalscorer. Argentina! Not Barbados, Liechtenstein or Andorra. Argentina! 4 consecutive finals (with very bad luck, btw). I mean… this is dominating apart from Barcelona, mate.


      Cristiano dominated in Lisbon? He played 30 games and scored 5 goals there.
      Cristiano dominated in Portugal? He has worse stats than Messi with Argentina.
      Cristiano dominated in Manchester? Ok… he did… but 0,40 goals per game during his stay in Manchester is not an extraordinary achievement.
      Cristiano dominated in Real Madrid? Yes… he did… but he’s won less of everything than Messi during his stay in Madrid, even with worse stats.

      • Doug Farias January 12, 2017 / 03:46

        I think it’s even a bit of a stretch to say he consistently dominated in Manchester. He certainly had a fantastic season in 2007-08, but none of his other seasons were at the same level. Ronaldo’s Portugal stats aren’t fantastic either considering he has never had a great World Cup (Messi’s 4 goals in 2014 were more than Ronaldo scored in the 2006, 2010, and 2014 WC’s combined) and he’s never dominated the Euro (this past Euro he actually had more bad games than good ones). Plus, 22 of Ronaldo’s 68 international goals have come in the UEFA World Cup qualifiers against teams like Estonia, Andorra, Luxemburg, etc.

      • Carlos O January 13, 2017 / 06:38

        Look it up Ronaldo has played 136 games for Portugal and scored 68 times therefore a 0.5, Messi has played 116 and scored 57 therefore 0.49, One point proven wrong already. Second Portugal’s national team has not had the talent that Argentina does. Manchester united he was giving more assists then Messi,does that mean he was a better team player? it shows above and those years coincide with him not scoring so much, you are just a hater that puts down a players achievements for no particular reason as you have not met him and Messi himself does not hate him. Also the team Messi has had while Ronaldo was at real madrid has been far more consistent and hasn’t had to change as much as real thus they have maintained a level of team play that had surpassed real madrid for long and a team that was overall more talented than real madrid was before, the fact that he didn’t win as much is not his fault he was still carrying real madrid by himself at times especially a few seasons ago and is the reason they have won most of those trophies. The debate between the two is personal preferences but to put down the achievements of a man that keeps up with your idol (which it seems he is) means that you dont respect your idol as well.

  6. Fadi saylee January 10, 2017 / 06:07

    I heared someone talked bout Zlanta,he is a fine player but he’s not even near ronaldo toes. He played in Spain, he did nothing,only psg made him really famous outside his national team.has he ever lifted a can cup with his national team?no,so i wont mention trophy. He’s a world best friend and not world best it self.

  7. Lewis Alva Pope, Jr. January 12, 2017 / 09:34

    The statistics mentioned above by Doug and Michel are well in place. Messi is like a gift to this generation of soccer. His game is just exceptional and can be described as a mystery. Nevertheless, Ronaldo is also a great footballer and I have great deal of respect for him. Had it not been for Ronaldo, Messi would have had no competitor and the game would have been distasteful. However, it is my opinion that Messi has advantage over the great Ronaldo. Thanks to all for the wonderful comments.

  8. bibu January 12, 2017 / 16:20

    These charts show one undeniable truth: Messi did best between 2009 and 2012-13, that is when Spain went on to win the European title twice and the World Cup. Spain had the Barcelona midfield (Iniesta, Xavi) and defense (puyol, etc). This is the reality well evident in all of these charts. This shows that Messi was in a winning team which helped him substantially. Ater 2012 starts the decline of Spain and guess what? The decline of Messi compared to previous years !! This is not to say Messi is not a fantastic player, BUT, he has been very lucky to be in the right team at the right moment. And this is why MANY people argue that he needs to probe himself outside Barcelona, obviously with Argentina has been a complete disaster!!!

      • Doug Farias January 13, 2017 / 06:23

        So Barcelona had Iniesta, Xavi, Puyol, and Pique and Real had a bunch of scrubs?

        There are multiple things wrong with your comment, so lets break them down. First off, you claim that 2009/10 – 2012/13 was when he did his best and has been worse since, but you seem to be only focusing on goals, but ignoring that Messi, especially under Enrique, has become more of a playmaker. Messi’s goals generated per game from 2009/10 – 2012/13 was 1.42. If his absurd 2011/12 season is treated as an anomaly and omitted, it drops to 1.32. From 2013/14 to present, his goals generated per game is 1.36, or about a difference of 3 goals per season from the 2009/10 -2012/13 period.

        As for playing with great players, yeah, Barcelona had much of the core of the Spain national team from the 2008 Euro to the 2014 World Cup, but their average of 2.11 goals in competitive games during that time period lags quite a bit behind Barcelona’s 2.61 goals per La Liga and UCL games during that same time period. Had Messi played for Spain during that period, he likely could have added 30 goals to Spain’s total over their 57 competitive games.

        As for the comparison of Messi’s supporting cast to Ronaldo’s, from 2009/10 – 2013/14, Barca averaged 2.59 goals per game in La Liga and the UCL, Real Madrid average 2.73. In La Liga during this same time, Real average 3 more chances created per game and 4 more shots per game. So, despite the “inferior” teammates Ronaldo had, his team generated more scoring opportunities against the same opponents. The difference is that Messi is much more decisive with his chances, it’s why, to date, he has the same number of La Liga goals since 2009/10 despite taking 453 fewer shots.

        Lastly, his time with Argentina is a complete disaster? Really? Similar goal per game as CR7 with Portugal (.49 to .50, keep in mind that Ronaldo gets to play in the laughable UEFA World Cup qualifiers), a higher goals generated per game than CR7 (.86 to .66), dragging Argentina through the 2014 World Cup group stage (Portugal went home after 3 matches), being the best player on the team for 2 straight Copa Americas (CR7 wasn’t Portugal’s best in the 2016 Euros) is a disaster? Then what about Ronaldo’s time with Portugal? Or is that considered a success because Eder scored? If that’s the case, then Messi’s Argentina career is 3 Higuain sitters from absolutely demolishing Ronaldo’s time with Portugal.

    • Pancho January 15, 2017 / 06:27

      Well, if playing 4 finals with Argentina and losing in shootouts and extra time is a disaster, then what of Ronaldo who has only ever played 20 minutes of 1 final?

  9. Jay Cole January 13, 2017 / 05:11

    Lol four consecutive finals with argentina is a disaster ? Wow.. Exits

  10. Four-forty January 18, 2017 / 18:06

    I luv how the CR fans re trying….buh I’m very sure they know deep-down them that Leo is “soccerly” better than Ronaldo

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