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The world's greatest footballers - but who's the best?

The battle of Messi vs Ronaldo has the world gripped.

In this website, they go head to head in terms of goals, stats, achievements, abilities and much more.

Always up-to-date, reliable and accurate, this is your main port of call to see who's currently leading the constant back-and-forth battle for the golden boot.

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Last Stats Update: 22 Nov 15:35 GMT

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5 times Messi outplayed Real Madrid in the El Clásico

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During a 20-year career at Barcelona, Lionel Messi featured in nearly 50 El Clásico matches against Real Madrid. The rivalry is one of the fiercest in football, and Messi often stole the show with electric performances and goals of the highest quality. When Messi transferred from Barcelona for Paris St Germain in 2021, he left as the highest-ever scorer in El Clásico with 26 goals. In addition, the Argentinian produced some of the most memorable moments from the grudge match in recent years.

  1. La Liga 2007

Messi had played in two Clásicos by age 19, and both were away at the Santiago Bernabéu. But when Messi got his first taste of a clash with Real Madrid at the Camp Nou in 2007, he was ready.

In the La Liga match, Madrid led three times, only for Messi to hit back with his first senior hat-trick. Barca drew the game 3-3, but Messi stole the headlines in his first mesmerising performance of many.

  • La Liga 2014

Messi would have to wait for six more seasons before his net hat trick against Madrid. This time, it came at the Bernabéu in one of the greatest El Clásico fixtures in modern times.

In an end-to-end fixture that ended 4-3 for Barcelona, Messi played a part in all four goals. He assisted Andreas Iniesta for the opener before Madrid pegged Barca back. Messi responded with a curling effort before striking two late penalties to seal the victory.This period of Messi’s career is some of his golden years, where he could do it all: dribble, pinpoint accurate through balls and obviously finish in stunning fashion. Keeping track of the ball at Messi’s feet was as exciting as watching a roulette-ball land on a live roulette online wheel. Fans couldn’t get enough of the Argentian as matches he featured in were always an exciting watch.

  • Champions League 2011 

During his Barcelona career, Messi only faced Madrid four times in the Champions League, and his first was the most memorable.

Madrid held firm against Barcelona’s dominance in possession and Messi eventually turned on the style. After 76 minutes, the match was still 0-0 before Messi scored a poacher’s goal to open the scoring.

Then, the Argentinian scored one of his most iconic Barcelona goals. Messi received the ball in his own half, dribbled past three Madrid players and curled past Iker Casillas to double the lead sensationally.

  • La Liga 2017 

Drama and tension often mark El Clásico fixtures. The 2017 encounter at the Bernabéu was one of the tensest, and Messi was eventually the difference-maker.

Messi had already scored as the game was tied at 2-2 heading into injury time. With the clock ticking down, Messi fired past Keylor Navas to seal the win and his 500th Barcelona goal.

To add fury to a shocked Bernabéu, Messi took off his jersey and held it up to the crowd, adding to the spectacle.

  • La Liga 2009 

In May 2009, Barcelona went to the Bernabéu in need of a victory to secure the La Liga title. What could have been a cagey encounter turned into a Barcelona rout, and Messi was the key man once again.

The Catalan side thrashed Madrid 6-2, and Messi played a part in three goals. First, the Argentinian set up Thierry Henry to open the scoring before adding two of his own in one of Barcelona’s biggest-ever Clásico victories.

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