Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have dominated the footballing sphere over the past decade or so, with the duo winning five Ballon d’Or awards each and leading their respective clubs to major honours.
They have continued their good form this season too, with Ronaldo recently showing why Juventus bought him at the age of 34, netting a hat-trick as he led his club to the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League.
Messi was not to be left behind, with the Argentinian scoring a brace and registering two assists, helping Barcelona trash Lyon 5-1 in the round of 16 second leg, which saw them progress to their 12th consecutive quarter-final.
When it comes to Europe, Ronaldo trumps Messi, as he has won five titles as compared to four for the Argentinian. The Portugese is also the all-time leading goalscorer in Champions League history with 124 goals in 160 appearances while Messi has netted 108 goals in 131 games.
Ronaldo steps up when it matters most, incredibly, scoring 63 goals in 77 Champions League knockout games compared to Messi’s total of 42 goals in 64. It gives him a knockout stage strike rate of a goal every 108 minutes to Messi’s 131 minutes.
The only stat where Messi is above Ronaldo is overall goal to game ratio, averaging a goal every 100 minutes compared to Ronaldo’s 112 minutes. With both Barcelona and Juventus in the last eight, it will be interesting to see whether they are drawn together, something which no doubt would a mouthwatering clash.
UEFA Champions League:
Cristiano Ronaldo vs Lionel Messi
Appearances: 160 131
Goals: 124 108
Assists: 36 30
Penalty Goals: 16 12
Hat-tricks: 8 8
Minutes per goal: 112 100
Trophies won: 5 4