The Lionel Messi & Cristiano Ronaldo Record Breaking List
Has there been a better football rivalry than the one between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo? Sure, Ronaldinho vs. Zinedine Zidane, Johan Cruyff vs. Franz Beckenbauer and Pele vs. Eusebio were all talent-filled, highly entertaining affairs, but Messi vs. Ronaldo is a rivalry that’s literally been record-breaking.
Put simply, when you size up the careers of the two hotshots, the list of accolades and world bests is mind blowing. In fact, the combined résumé of the two players is so impressive that we’ve decided to take a second and recap some of the top records the pros currently hold.
Messi the Hotshot
When it comes to Messi, quantity is clearly his thing. As it stands, the man from Argentina holds the record for the most goals in a calendar year with 91. Thanks to this almost unbelievable strike rate in 2012, Messi has broken (and will continue to break) records for the most goal in Spanish League history (253), the leading scorer in the Champions League and the top striker Barcelona has ever had.
In fact, when you have a look at any match preview from the betting brains at Sun Bets, Messi is always cited as a lynchpin. Often described by the writers as “terrorising” defences across Europe in the Champions League, Messi’s prowess in front of goal is both special and record-breaking. Off the back of this ability to find the back of the net, Messi is currently the only player in history to win the Ballon d’Or, FIFA World Player, Pichichi trophy and Golden Boot in the same season.
Ronaldo the Golden Boy
Across the pitch, Ronaldo has been just as prolific. At the last count, his 137 goals in all UEFA competitions was 30 more than his closest rival, Raúl González. If that wasn’t enough, Ronaldo has been named in UEFA.com’s Team of the Year (user poll) more than any other player (three times). Add to this the top strike rate in Real Madrid history (400+ goals at the last count) and the most goals in a single Champions League campaign (17 in 2013/2014) and it’s easy to see why Ronaldo is among the greatest to ever do it.
Of course, there are some records the dynamic duo haven’t yet been able to crack. At the time of writing, neither Messi or Ronaldo had cracked the following footballing feats:
- Oldest goal scorer in a Champions League final: Paolo Maldini at 36 years 333 days during Milan vs. Liverpool (2005).
- Fastest UEFA Champions League goal: Roy Makaay found the net in 10.12 seconds.
- Most number of teams scored for in the Champions League: Zlatan Ibrahimović has scored for six teams, including: Juventus, Barcelona, Milan, Paris Saint-Germain, Inter and Ajax.
- Greatest number of goals for a single club: Pele scored 643 times for Santos.
A Battle on Virtual Ground
With a few more years before the two hang up their boots, there’s no doubt a few of the above records and probably a few more will go. However, even if they didn’t push the boundaries any more, Messi and Ronaldo have proven they have every right to be considered among the greatest of their generation. Indeed, when you compare what they’ve achieved in arguably one of the most competitive eras ever, the mere mortal can only sit back and marvel.
In fact, that’s one most of us do via the power of social media when it comes to Ronaldo. Indeed, if there’s one area in which Ronaldo trumps Messi, it’s social media. Although the former is going strong with 82.5 million Instagram followers while the latter is currently killing it with 114 million.
Taking this a step further, the Ronaldo brand is huge and that’s helped him secure endorsement deals with the likes of Nike and more. When you tally all that up, Ronaldo has an estimated net worth of $93 million (£70 million). By this token, Ronaldo has not only broken plenty of records off the pitch in areas such as social media and wealth, it’s fair to say the 32-year-old just has the edge on his Barcelona counterpart.