Comparing Ronaldo's and Messi's Champions League Stats

Gods of the Beautiful Game

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are the two most recognizable names in world football, and the pair have continued their domination at the top level of sport even into their thirties, breaking record after record.

Juventus and Barcelona both progressed to the quarter finals of the Champions League as the two forwards more or less single handedly won the affairs for their respective teams, with Ronnie sealing a hat-trick versus Atletico Madrid and Messi having a hand in four of Barca’s five goals against Lyon.

Both are hailed as the best players of our time, and while some may constantly debate over who the most talented one is, there is no questioning that the Argentine maestro and the clinical Portuguese hero have helped each other over the years in terms of motivation and pushing one another to win multiple Ballon d’Or awards, with the two earning five each.

Perhaps the most impressive statistics that the attackers possess are their Champions League numbers as either individual has performed to an incredibly high standard in the tournament throughout their respective careers.

34-year-old Ronaldo’s record of 124 goals is made even more astounding when you realise that he did not score until his 30th appearance in the competition when Manchester United faced Roma in the quarter finals of 2007.

Messi, on the other hand, found the net for the first time in just his fifth match during the 2005/2006 season against Panathinaikos. The now 31-year-old star netted his 100th in Europe’s elite tournament quicker than his media-made arch nemesis, bagging his century of goals in 123 games, whereas Ronaldo took 144 to reach that total - though if you take away those thirty opening games, he amassed 144 in the following 114 matches.

Messi the GOAT

Stepping up to the plate

It is the Euro 2016 winner who turns up when it really matters and he holds the title as the first player to rack up fifty knockout goals, and he has now surpassed sixty, while Messi has notched 42 goals in the knockout phase of the competition and beats the former Real Madrid man for group stage goals with 66 compared to Ronaldo’s 61.

If you are going to place a bet on a game Messi is involved in after he has scored put all your money on Leo’s side winning the tie, as he has been on the losing side on just three occasions in games which have seen him get on the scoresheet.

Ronaldo also has impressive statistics in terms of winning games, with former Real Madrid goalkeeper and teammate Iker Casillas being the one player who can compete with Juve’s number seven when it comes to finishing on the winning side of a Champions League match in spite of the fact the Spaniard has played fifteen more fixtures.

The two men cannot be separated when it comes to hat-tricks, with either getting eight in their careers at Europe’s premiere level, though Messi has never scored in eleven consecutive Champions League matches, a feat which Ronaldo has achieved.

Interestingly, Ronaldo has scored ten goals against his current club Juventus, which is more than any other player has scored against a single club, with two of those coming in the final of 2017, which was the game which saw Cristiano become the first and only player to find the net in three different Champions League finals as Messi has scored in two separate finals.

This season, it is Messi who has been involved in more goals during the Champions League, however Ronaldo stole the show versus Atletico Madrid and it is now argued that it is performances such as that one which make him the greatest player on earth.

Juve’s standout performer has played seven Champions League matches so far, scoring four times and providing two assists, while Barca’s number ten has played in six games, netting eight goals for himself and supplying three times for others.

Regardless of whether you believe Ronaldo is the finest player to ever grace the game or if you think Messi is the greatest there ever was or will be, there is no denying that these men will go down in history as two of the most entertaining and influential people to display their qualities in the beautiful game and should be cherished by all who are lucky enough to watch them do what they do best: play.

Cristiano Ronaldo