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Cristiano Ronaldo vs Lionel Messi: Who is the GOAT in football? The stats head-to-head showdown

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Ishak_47

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  • 30th, November 2021 (1 month ago)
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Cristiano Ronaldo versus Lionel Messi - who is the GOAT? It is the biggest conundrum in football since the 'Diego Maradona or Pele?' debate. The question of who is better between the Portuguese phenomenon and the empyrean Argentine has dominated the minds of football fans everywhere for the past decade and will persist into the future. Club and national loyalties can cloud judgement on the matter, while personalities also play a part in how good a player is perceived to be, and most people know who they'd pick. So who really is the greatest of all time? Never mind who you prefer, Goal has taken a look at how the pair actually shape up head-to-head so you can be fully armed with facts in the eternal argument. Ronaldo has scored more club goals than Messi, but only just and it should be noted that the Juventus star benefits from having played two more seasons than his Argentine nemesis thus far. Each of them has remarkably netted over 670 club goals in their career so far, with the five seasons between 2009-10 and 2014-15 proving particularly golden as they pushed each other to greater heights. While Ronaldo currently has more goals overall, Messi has the edge in the scoring department, with a higher season average (39.5 to 35), having hit a high of 73 goals in 2011-12. Ronaldo's highest season return was 61, which he achieved in 2014-15 and he surpassed the 50-goal mark every season for six years between 2010-11 and 2015-16. Interestingly, while Ronaldo's seasonal totals have declined somewhat in recent years - he failed to break the 30-goal mark in 2018-19 during his first season at Juventus - Messi's have remained consistent. When it comes to assists, Messi is much superior to Ronaldo and that contrast has become increasingly stark as their respective roles evolve. The fact that Messi creates so many goals as well as scoring them is a major consideration when deciding which player is the GOAT and, while Ronaldo chips in with his fair share, the difference in this particular realm is clear. *As of Champions League games played in 2020-21. Ronaldo is the all-time leading goalscorer in the Champions League, having shone in the competition with Manchester United and Real Madrid in particular.


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