Cristiano Ronaldo vs. Lionel Messi: Career trophies, goals, stats and awards for football superstars | Sporting News (2024)

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.

Domestic leagues604503673521
Domestic cups104719651
International cups179147207152

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.

Continental competitions34137657
World Cup finals & qualification87426944

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

Domestic leagues127
Domestic cups1512
International club tournaments1112
International tournaments12
Ballons d'Or75
FIFA World Player of the Year11
The Best FIFA Men's Player22
World Cup Golden Ball20
European Golden Shoe64

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 CupMessi's recordRonaldo's record
20063 appearance, 1 goal, 1 assist6 appearances, 1 goal
20105 appearances, 1 assist4 appearances, 1 goal, 1 assist
20147 appearances, 4 goals, 1 assist3 appearances, 1 goal, 1 assist
20184 appearances, 1 goal, 2 assists4 appearances, 4 goals
20227 appearances, 7goals, 3 assists5 appearance, 1 goal
TOTAL26 appearances, 13 goals, 7assists22 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.

Dec. 8, 2020Champions LeagueBarcelona - Juventus0-32 goals
May 6, 2018La LigaBarcelona - Real Madrid2-21 goal1 goal
Dec. 23, 2017La LigaReal Madrid - Barcelona0-31 goal, 1 assists
Aug. 13, 2017SupercopaBarcelona - Real Madrid1-31 goal1 goal
Apr. 23, 2017La LigaReal Madrid - Barcelona2-32 goals
Dec. 3, 2016La LigaBarcelona - Real Madrid1-1
Apr. 2, 2016La LigaBarcelona - Real Madrid1-21 goal
Nov. 21, 2015La LigaReal Madrid - Barcelona0-4
Mar. 22, 2015La LigaBarcelona - Real Madrid2-11 assist1 goal
Oct. 25, 2014La LigaReal Madrid - Barcelona3-11 goal
Mar. 23, 2014La LigaReal Madrid - Barcelona3-43 goals1 goal
Oct. 26, 2013La LigaBarcelona - Real Madrid2-11 assist
Mar. 2, 2013La LigaReal Madrid - Barcelona2-11 goal
Feb. 26, 2013Copa del ReyBarcelona - Real Madrid1-32 goals
Jan. 30, 2013Copa del ReyReal Madrid - Barcelona1-11 assist
Oct. 7, 2012La LigaBarcelona - Real Madrid2-22 goals2 goals
Aug. 29, 2012SupercopaReal Madrid - Barcelona2-11 goal1 goal
Aug. 22, 2012SupercopaBarcelona - Real Madrid3-21 goal1 goal
Apr. 21, 2012La LigaBarcelona - Real Madrid1-21 goal
Jan. 25, 2012Copa del ReyBarcelona - Real Madrid2-21 assist1 goal
Jan. 18, 2012Copa del ReyReal Madrid - Barcelona1-21 assist1 goal
Dec. 10, 2011La LigaReal Madrid - Barcelona1-31 assist
Aug. 17, 2011SupercopaBarcelona - Real Madrid3-22 goals, 1 assist1 goal
Aug. 14, 2011SupercopaReal Madrid - Barcelona2-21 goal, 1 assist
May 3, 2011Champions LeagueBarcelona - Real Madrid1-1
Apr. 27, 2011Champions LeagueReal Madrid - Barcelona0-22 goals
Apr. 20, 2011Copa del ReyBarcelona - Real Madrid (Neutral Stadium)0-11 goal
Apr. 16, 2011La LigaReal Madrid - Barcelona1-11 goal1 goal
Nov. 29, 2010La LigaBarcelona - Real Madrid5-02 assists
Apr. 10, 2010La LigaReal Madrid - Barcelona0-21 goal
Nov. 29, 2009La LigaBarcelona - Real Madrid1-0
May 27, 2009Champions LeagueMan United - Barcelona (Neutral)2-01 goal
Apr. 29, 2008Champions LeagueMan United - Barcelona1-0
Apr. 23, 2008Champions LeagueBarcelona - Man United0-0(1 missed penalty)
TOTAL16 wins
22 goals
11 wins
21 goals
Cristiano Ronaldo vs. Lionel Messi: Career trophies, goals, stats and awards for football superstars | Sporting News (2024)
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