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Who Is Who? The neverending duel between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi

We detail how the stats break down in key areas, defining just how neverending their duel between Ronaldo and Messi truly is.

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For an entire decade, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have dominated world football, mopping up Ballon d'Ors, Champions Leagues, and many more major titles between them.

Read more: Ronaldo's Portugal seal 2016 as year of the underdog

Constantly, they have traded blows and fans have debated which particular award or trophy is more important, and Ronaldo was the latest to lift a piece of silverware with the 2016 Club World Cup, matching Pele for scoring a hat-trick in the process. Here, we detail how the stats break down in key areas, defining just how neverending their duel truly is.

Goals in finals

To date, both Ronaldo and Messi have taken to the pitch in 16 finals. By some distance, the Barcelona man has the measure of the Portugal captain here, scoring 13 goals to 11, a lead stretching to 25 goals to 14 if including the Supercopa de Espana.

Champions League goals

Real Madrid have enjoyed as much success as the Blaugrana in recent years, with Ronaldo scoring a record 17 goals in 2013/14 alone. Last season's efforts drew the winger to 16 strikes en route to his latest title in the competition, whilst Messi's top tally is a mere 14, from 2011/12, although he's managed 10 so far this campaign and has eyes the top. In terms of trophies, Manchester United provided one of Ronaldo's three whereas the Argentine has secured four, all with Barcelona.

Read more: Suarez double, Messi magic hands Barca derby delight

Europe's best ever

In the history of European competition, Ronaldo's 98 goals is just ahead of his Barcelona nemesis' 96, to push them well ahead of the next challenger - Raul with 71. Adding other international competitions to the mix and the gap remains at two (103 to 101), with the Real man still ahead in goals across all competitions. On that, he has 504 in 689 games to Messi's 475 in 551 outings.


Here, the award rather simply falls in Ronaldo's favour, bagging 45 trios to 41. In the Champions League, Messi has seven to the five of his LaLiga counterpart. However, most of Ronaldo's came in 2011/12 (three), to beat the two captured by the Argentine in a single campaign.Ballon d'OrNo player has taken the top individual honour in world football off the duo since Kaka's 2007 award; in the nine years since, the Portugal star has claimed four, including three of the last four, to Messi's five.

Top campaigns

An unimaginable 73 goals were notched by the Barcelona star in 2011/12, compared to Ronaldo's best of 61 three years later. That was part of six straight years where he's bagged 50 or more goals for Los Blancos, with Messi achieving seven seasons of topping 40 strikes. Both have managed to score in 12 games running.

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