Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have brought so much joy to our television screens for the majority of their careers and for the best part of 15 years, at least, and their media and fan-fueled rivalry has been fascinating to watch.
Both born with natural talent and a never say die attitude, Messi and Ronaldo have plundered ridiculous numbers throughout their careers and broken every record they’ve come face to face with.
Countless trophies have been one too and they have been playing at the highest level for quite some time now, and even as they get older they still dominate world football.
Manchester United’s Ronaldo has proven himself in three different leagues in three different countries, while Messi was a constant mainstay at Barcelona before his summer move to PSG, but no matter where they’ve been they’ve never let anyone down.
Here’s everything you need to know about their incredible careers and the success they’ve had.
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Messi has always bled Barcelona colors and after rising through the academy ranks he spent the first 17 years of his career at the Catalan club, making a total of 778 appearances in all competitions which started with his debut. in 2004-05 and finished with its last game in 2020-21.
He made the most appearances during the 2011–12 season, playing a total of 60 matches in all competitions.
Since his breakthrough move to PSG over the summer, it’s taken a little while for Messi to step into the fold, but he’s since made 21 appearances for the French club – 14 in Ligue 1, one in the Coupe de France and six in the Champions League.
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Ronaldo has been around a bit longer than Messi, two years older than his rival, and has therefore played more games since his debut in 2002-03 for Sporting Lisbon, and has since tallied 922 appearances in all competitions. 21 seasons for four different clubs – including two spells at Man United.
CR7 made 31 appearances for Sporting Lisbon in the 2002-03 season, 292 from 2003-2009 for Man United, 438 for Real Madrid between 2009-2018, 134 for Juventus from 2018-20 and since returning to Man United, 27 others. in the 2021-22 season so far.
His most appearances in a single season came in the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons for Real Madrid, appearing 55 times in both campaigns.
Messi made his international debut for Argentina in 2005 and has represented his nation every year since, despite initially retiring after losing the 2016 Copa America final.
Nonetheless, he made 158 appearances for his country and in that time played in four World Cups and six Copa Americas – winning just one Copa America in that time (2021).
Ronaldo made his Portugal debut in a friendly in 2003 and has since made a total of 184 appearances for his country.
The Portuguese captain is the record appearance holder for his country and has also appeared in four World Cups, as well as five European Championships, a Nations League final and a Confederations Cup. Among those appearances, he won the Euros in 2016 and the Nations League in 2019.
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Messi has produced outrageous scoring figures throughout his career and has continued to make the impossible possible with his incredible dribbling and expert finishing skills.
In total, Messi scored 679 goals in 798 competitive appearances across all competitions for two clubs and netted 30+ goals per season for 13 consecutive seasons for Barcelona between 2008-09 and 2020-21 – with a record 73 goals in 60 games to come. in 2011-12.
For Argentina, he scored 80 international goals in 158 games, taking his career tally for club and country to 756 goals in 947 games.
CARL DE SOUZA/AFP via Getty Images)
Ronaldo also broke numerous goalscoring records and became one of the best finishers in the world, with the ability to score with any part of his body.
689 goals in 922 games for four different clubs speaks volumes, including 42 in 49 games for Man United in 2007-08, but he went on to score over 50 goals per season for six consecutive seasons for Real Madrid between 2010-11 and 2015.-16.
For Portugal, he is now the all-time top scorer for his nation as well as in international football in general, scoring 115 goals in 184 appearances, taking his tally for club and country to 801 goals in 1,096 games.
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Together the pair have won a combined total of 67 trophies throughout their careers, with Messi lifting 35 and Ronaldo lifting 32.
Messi has a trophy cabinet dominated by Spanish football after 17 years at Barcelona and won a club-record 34 major trophies with Barcelona, including 10 La Liga titles, four Champions Leagues, seven Copa del Rey titles, seven Spanish Super Cups, three UEFA Super Cups and three FIFA Club World Cups. Three Copa America runners-up medals eventually earned Messi his only major international trophy in 2021, while he also has a 2014 World Cup runners-up medal.
Ronaldo has won trophies in three different leagues with three different clubs, meaning he has quite a varied trophy cabinet, including seven league titles, five Champions Leagues and four FIFA Club World Cups.
With Man United, CR7 also won an FA Cup, two League Cups and a Community Shield, at Real Madrid there were also two Copa del Rey, two Spanish Super Cups and two UEFA Super Cups, while that at Juventus there was a Coppa Italia and two Italian Super Cups.
The Euro 2016 title and the 2019 Nations League crown were also won by Ronaldo.
Messi is La Liga’s all-time leading goalscorer and also holds the record for most assists, but Ronaldo is the Champions League’s all-time leading goalscorer and assist provider, but both are both first players to score 100. goals in Champions League history.
The pair also topped the Ballon d’Or awards for over a decade, with Messi winning seven of them and Ronaldo claiming five.
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Individually, Messi has a FIFA World Player of the Year award, a Best FIFA Men’s Player award, a FIFA World Cup Golden Ball, a World Sportsman of the Year award Laureus and a Ballon d’Or dream team award, as well as six European awards. Golden Shoe’s, six La Liga Best Player awards and 12 Argentine Footballer of the Year awards.
As for Ronaldo, he has a FIFA World Player of the Year award, a Premier League Golden Boot, a La Liga Best Player award and a Capocannoniere, as well as two Best Men’s Player awards from FIFA, two PFA Players’ Player of the Year awards. , two Premier League Player of the Season awards, two Serie A Footballer of the Year awards, three Pichichi Trophies, four FPF Portuguese Player of the Year awards and four European Golden Boots.