Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi, who is the greatest? This has a long-running debate among football fans and enthusiasts worldwide. Since the “Diego Maradona or Pele” debate, this has been a hot contention among fans everywhere.
The highly-anticipated FIFA World Cup 2022 is knocking at the door right now. On 21 November, the biggest international sporting tournament will kick off in Qatar. Since their debut in 2006, both Ronaldo and Messi participated in 5 iterations of the event. We have compiled a head-to-head of their performances in the World Cups so far. So, let’s have a look at who is the better one in FIFA’s biggest quadrennial event.
Ronaldo vs. Messi – Player Overview:
Ronaldo is the Portuguese national team forward serving captaincy for the team. He also plays as a forward for Premier League club Manchester United. With record-making most international goals count, he has already become a living legend. With his first goal of 2022, he reached 117 International goals. Behind him sits former Persian footballer Ali Daei with 109 goals.
He hasn’t yet had the fortune to win a World Cup. But Ronaldo won two trophies with his country. They are the UEFA Euro 2016 title and UEFA Nations League.
Messi is the Argentine national team forward also serving as the captain. Currently, he is serving as a forward in League-1 club Paris Saint-German. Even after giving massive contributions to the team, some still consider him menial to Diego Maradona. Previously he won the golden ball in the 2014 FIFA appearance.
Like his rival, he hasn’t tasted the joy of winning the World Cup yet. But he won an international trophy. Beating Brazil in the 2020 Copa America, Messi earned his first international win.
World Cup Appearances:
Both Messi and Ronaldo made their World Cup debut in 2006. But in total Ronaldo has two fewer appearances in the event than Messi. Since their debut, Messi appeared in 19 matches, whereas Ronaldo participated in 17.
Messi reached the finals in 2014. But Ronaldo has yet to appear in the semi-finals of a World Cup. He pushed his team to the round of 16, both in 2010 and 2018. Unfortunately, his solo performance was insufficient to propel the team any further.
Number of Goals:
Ronaldo excels with both his international and World Cup goal count. Since his 2006 debut, Ronaldo scored a total of 7 goals in 17 matches. But even with the same debut year and 2 extra matches, Messi scored 6 goals so far.
Under Argentina’s international jersey, Messi scored 86 goals. He achieved this feat by partaking in 162 events. On the other hand, Ronaldo is currently the most international goal scorer. From appearing in 189 games, he scored a total of 117 goals. His rival, Messi sits in 4th position.
Number of Assists:
Messi excels with his assist ability. And it is the same in international events too. Messi made a total of 5 assists so far. He made two assists in Russia World Cup. By contrast, Ronaldo only scored two assists in World Cup. The first one was in 2010 and the second one in 2014. Messi is better at breaking the enemy’s defense line and playmaking.
Considering both their goals and assist, Messi edges over Ronaldo by a slight amount. As the Argentine has 11 contributions whereas his Portuguese rival has 9. But fans must consider that the Portuguese team is not known for being one of the best. As a result, Ronaldo must cover most of the team.
While Messi topples over Ronaldo for a bit in World Cup, club performance is another subject. The club is where the players excel the most with some of the best teammates in the world. Keep an eye on our website for further discussion. Let us know in the comments below, whom do you think is the G.O.A.T and why.