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Cristiano Ronaldo vs. Lionel Messi: Career trophies, goals, stats and awards for football superstars

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are widely seen as two of the greatest to play the game. The pair, and their rivalry, have defined a generation of football. Everyone has their opinion on who is the superior player, fed by the rivalry growing over the better part of a decade.

This is only possible because the duo spent much of their careers at Barcelona and Real Madrid, their own rivalry subsumed by the heated rivalry between the two clubs, and their fan bases. At times the clubs seemed to be competing with each other on almost a weekly basis. Between April 2010 and April 2012, the clubs faced each other a dozen times.

On top of that, the duo also faced off in an international friendly in that time. It’s easy to see how their rivalry grew to define a generation of football.

Below, we’ve listed all the stats and all the numbers on their careers to date, their achievements, and how they’ve fared against each other.

MORE: Complete 2022 FIFA World Cup schedule

Ronaldo vs. Messi: Goals scored

We’ve compared the record between these two greats across their club and international careers.

Ronaldo vs. Messi: Club football

Stats updated as of September 27, 2023.

Competition Messi:
Games
Messi:
Goals
Ronaldo:
Games
Ronaldo:
Goals
Domestic leagues 604 503 673 521
Domestic cups 104 71 96 51
International cups 179 147 207 152
TOTAL 887 721 976 724

Ronaldo vs. Messi: International football

It’s worth remembering that they represent international teams in different federations. Argentina qualify directly for the Copa America, so they don’t take part in qualifiers like Portugal do for the European Championships.

Stats updated as of September 27, 2023.

Competition Messi:
Games
Messi:
Goals
Ronaldo:
Games
Ronaldo:
Goals
Friendlies 54 49 52 20
Continental competitions 34 13 76 57
World Cup finals & qualification 87 42 69 44
TOTAL 175 104 197 121

Ronaldo vs. Messi: Trophies & awards

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have both lifted a host of trophies, having played at successful teams. They’ve also both earned numerous individual honors, with both of them regularly competing with each other to be recognized as the best player in the world in a given season.

The nature of the trophies they’ve won belies the nature of the teams on which they’ve played. Barcelona were dominant domestically for a significant period, giving Messi the edge in domestic honors, while Real Madrid regularly lifted the Champions League during Cristiano’s time at the club.

Since both players completed their latest club moves, both have secured trophies. Messi led Inter Miami to the 2023 Leagues Cup title, the team’s first trophy in its short history, while Cristiano Ronaldo helped Al Nassr lift the Arab Club Champions Cup prior to the start of the 2023/24 league season.

Trophies updated as of September 27, 2023

Honour Messi Ronaldo
Domestic leagues 12 7
Domestic cups 15 12
International club tournaments 11 12
International tournaments 1 2
Olympics 1 0
Ballons d’Or 7 5
FIFA World Player of the Year 1 1
The Best FIFA Men’s Player 2 2
World Cup Golden Ball 2 0
European Golden Shoe 6 4

Ronaldo vs. Messi at the World Cup

The World Cup is a trophy that had eluded both these players in their international careers until Lionel Messi secured the 2022 World Cup title with Argentina.

Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi, who won an Under-20 World Cup and a Copa America with Argentina, came close in 2014 as he reached the final in Brazil, losing 1-0 to Germany in extra time on the famous Mario Gotze goal. That was the third World Cup in a row in which Argentina were eliminated by the Germans.

In 2010, Messi and Argentina were outclassed 4-0 by the European side, and sent home at the quarterfinal stage. In 2006 they were eliminated at the same stage, but after a different result. The Germans beat them 5-3 on penalties, although Messi didn’t feature in that game. The 2018 tournament was Argentina’s poorest showing at a World Cup featuring Messi, as they lost 4-3 to France in the Round of 16, despite two assists from Lionel Messi.

He finally triumphed in 2022 when Argentina topped France in a thrilling final, which finished level at 3-3 before Messi and friends triumphed on a penalty shootout. That victory in Qatar provided Messi the most coveted trophy of his career. He was instrumental in winning it, scoring a goal in every match throughout the tournament save one, including each knockout game with two in the final.

Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo has tasted international success with Portugal, winning the European Championship and the Nations League, but his country has failed to match that success in the World Cup.

The tournament where Ronaldo’s Portugal went furthest was 2006, when they lost 1-0 to France in the semifinal before losing the third place playoff match to Germany 3-1.

In 2010 they were eliminated 1-0 by neighbors Spain in the Round of 16, while their visit to Brazil in 2014 was short-lived. Portugal failed to get out of a group containing Germany, Ghana and the USA.

In 2018 they went a step further, Cristiano scored a hat trick in the first game, a 3-3 draw with Spain in the group stage. Portugal qualified for the Round of 16 before losing 2-1 to Uruguay.

World Cup Messi’s record Ronaldo’s record
2006 3 appearance, 1 goal, 1 assist 6 appearances, 1 goal
2010 5 appearances, 1 assist 4 appearances, 1 goal, 1 assist
2014 7 appearances, 4 goals, 1 assist 3 appearances, 1 goal, 1 assist
2018 4 appearances, 1 goal, 2 assists 4 appearances, 4 goals
2022 7 appearances, 7 goals, 3 assists 5 appearance, 1 goal
TOTAL 26 appearances, 13 goals, 7 assists 22 appearances, 8 goals, 2 assists

Ronaldo vs. Messi: How many times have they met?

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have met 34 times in club competitions so far in their careers. Unsurprisingly, the vast majority of these encounters took place during Cristiano’s time at Real Madrid during heated SuperClasicos, with the capital club regularly going head to head with Lionel Messi’s Barcelona.

The two have faced each other once since then, with Ronaldo scoring a brace for Juventus in the Champions League, and several times during Ronaldo’s first stint at Man United.

The pair have also faced each other for their international teams twice. Both occasions were international friendlies. In February 2011, Argentina beat Portugal 2-1 in Geneva, with both players netting a goal. Portugal got their revenge in November 2014 with a 1-0 win at Old Trafford, although neither player scored.

The pair have never met for their international sides in a competitive fixture.

Date Competition Match Result Messi Ronaldo
Dec. 8, 2020 Champions League Barcelona – Juventus 0-3 2 goals
May 6, 2018 La Liga Barcelona – Real Madrid 2-2 1 goal 1 goal
Dec. 23, 2017 La Liga Real Madrid – Barcelona 0-3 1 goal, 1 assists
Aug. 13, 2017 Supercopa Barcelona – Real Madrid 1-3 1 goal 1 goal
Apr. 23, 2017 La Liga Real Madrid – Barcelona 2-3 2 goals
Dec. 3, 2016 La Liga Barcelona – Real Madrid 1-1
Apr. 2, 2016 La Liga Barcelona – Real Madrid 1-2 1 goal
Nov. 21, 2015 La Liga Real Madrid – Barcelona 0-4
Mar. 22, 2015 La Liga Barcelona – Real Madrid 2-1 1 assist 1 goal
Oct. 25, 2014 La Liga Real Madrid – Barcelona 3-1 1 goal
Mar. 23, 2014 La Liga Real Madrid – Barcelona 3-4 3 goals 1 goal
Oct. 26, 2013 La Liga Barcelona – Real Madrid 2-1 1 assist
Mar. 2, 2013 La Liga Real Madrid – Barcelona 2-1 1 goal
Feb. 26, 2013 Copa del Rey Barcelona – Real Madrid 1-3 2 goals
Jan. 30, 2013 Copa del Rey Real Madrid – Barcelona 1-1 1 assist
Oct. 7, 2012 La Liga Barcelona – Real Madrid 2-2 2 goals 2 goals
Aug. 29, 2012 Supercopa Real Madrid – Barcelona 2-1 1 goal 1 goal
Aug. 22, 2012 Supercopa Barcelona – Real Madrid 3-2 1 goal 1 goal
Apr. 21, 2012 La Liga Barcelona – Real Madrid 1-2 1 goal
Jan. 25, 2012 Copa del Rey Barcelona – Real Madrid 2-2 1 assist 1 goal
Jan. 18, 2012 Copa del Rey Real Madrid – Barcelona 1-2 1 assist 1 goal
Dec. 10, 2011 La Liga Real Madrid – Barcelona 1-3 1 assist
Aug. 17, 2011 Supercopa Barcelona – Real Madrid 3-2 2 goals, 1 assist 1 goal
Aug. 14, 2011 Supercopa Real Madrid – Barcelona 2-2 1 goal, 1 assist
May 3, 2011 Champions League Barcelona – Real Madrid 1-1
Apr. 27, 2011 Champions League Real Madrid – Barcelona 0-2 2 goals
Apr. 20, 2011 Copa del Rey Barcelona – Real Madrid (Neutral Stadium) 0-1 1 goal
Apr. 16, 2011 La Liga Real Madrid – Barcelona 1-1 1 goal 1 goal
Nov. 29, 2010 La Liga Barcelona – Real Madrid 5-0 2 assists
Apr. 10, 2010 La Liga Real Madrid – Barcelona 0-2 1 goal
Nov. 29, 2009 La Liga Barcelona – Real Madrid 1-0
May 27, 2009 Champions League Man United – Barcelona (Neutral) 2-0 1 goal
Apr. 29, 2008 Champions League Man United – Barcelona 1-0
Apr. 23, 2008 Champions League Barcelona – Man United 0-0 (1 missed penalty)
TOTAL       16 wins
22 goals
11 wins
21 goals
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