The debate over who is the greatest player of all time rages on fields and around the world.
Who is the greatest of all time, Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi? It’s the greatest football dilemma since the ‘Diego Maradona or Pele?’ argument. This has long been a source of contention among fans. The debate about who is superior between the Portuguese phenomenon and the empyrean Argentine has occupied football fans’ imaginations for the last decade and will continue into the future.
Club and national allegiances may distort judgment, but personalities can influence how excellent a player is thought to be, and most people know who they’d select.
So, who is really the greatest of all time? Whatever your preference, GOAL has taken a look at how the two stack up head-to-head so you can be fully prepared with facts in the everlasting debate.
They have each scored over 690 club goals in their careers, with the five seasons between 2009-10 and 2014-15 proving especially fruitful as they pushed each other to new heights.
Messi’s incredible tournament saw him break a slew of records.He is now Argentina’s all-time highest goalscorer in World Cups with 13 goals. Cristiano Ronaldo also made history at Qatar 2022 as Portugal reached the quarterfinals, where they lost to Morocco 1-0. He became the first man to score in five different World Cup competitions.
While Ronaldo presently has more goals overall, Messi has a better season average (37.9 to 35), having reached a peak of 73 goals in 2011–12. However, his average dipped following a dismal first season at PSG in 2021-22. Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 60 hat-tricks in his illustrious career. He has scored 44 hat-tricks for Real Madrid. In comparison, Ronaldo’s great rival Lionel Messi has scored 56 career hat-tricks.
Prior to the 2022 World Cup, Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo had scored more goals in fewer appearances, but Messi turned things around in Qatar, leading his team to the coveted championship with an incredible seven goals and three assists.
For Argentina, Messi finally won the World Cup in Qatar in 2022. He scored seven goals in the tournament, including two in the final against France.
Ronaldo has received more of FIFA’s new “The Best” honours and has been named UEFA Player of the Year more times, while Messi has received more league Player of the Year honors. Of course, Ronaldo has won the Player of the Year accolade in England, Spain, and Italy.
So, it depends on whom the fans consider the real GOAT.