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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.


For stats questions contact: stats@messivsronaldo.net.


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Last Stats Update: 22 Nov 15:35 GMT

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Blog Latest: Messi vs Ronaldo and their UCL Records

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  1. Messi vs Ronaldo and their UCL Records

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    Messi vs Ronaldo and their UCL Records

    Messi and Ronaldo are the most prestigious football players. These legends have revolutionized the UEFA Champions League (UCL) with amazing records. Messi has excellent precision and dribbling skills, which contrast with Ronaldo’s powerful shots and aerial competence. Both have scored great goals, pushing each other to greater heights. Today’s article will discuss and compare Messi and Ronaldo’s UCL records. Read on!

    Total Goals in the UEFA Champions League

    We have double-checked and compiled this data and stats with the help of football experts at Iranshartbandi.com. Here is the breakdown of goals scored by Messi and Ronaldo in UCL.

    PlayerTotal UCL GoalsAppearancesHat-TricksFree-Kick Goals
    Messi12916385
    Ronaldo140183812

    According to the data sent to us by these football enthusiasts, Messi has 40 assists, 105 minutes per goal, and 18 successful penalties out of 23. Messi has also scored 18 goals from outside the box and 88 from inside the box. His left-foot goals are 107, and his right-foot goals are 18. However, Messi has only scored 4 header goals.

    On the other hand, Ronaldo has a total of 42 assists in UCL. He has scored goals 19 times through penalties; the goals scored from outside the box are 10, and the inside box is 99. Ronaldo has scored 95 right-foot goals and 25 header goals.

    Awards and Achievements

    Both football players have made excellent achievements in the UEFA Champions League. Messi was the top scorer in UCL in 2009, 2012, 2015, and 2019. Likewise, he received the UEFA Best Player in Europe award in 2009, 2011, and 2015. Messi was the UCL forward of the season in 2008-2009, 2010-2011, 2011-2012, and 2014-2015.

    In contrast, Ronaldo had achieved the UCL top scorer award in 2007-2008, 2012-2013, 2013-2014, 2015-2016, and 2017-2018 seasons. UEFA awarded Ronaldo the Best Player in Europe in 2008, 2014, 2016, and 2017. Moreover, both legends have won the Golden Boot multiple times for being UCL’s best players and top scorers. However, Ronaldo has achieved this distinction more often than Messi.

    Team Success in the UCL

    Messi and Ronaldo have led their teams to massive achievements at UCL. These legends have contributed to memorable moments in the UCL’s history. Messi has won the UCL four times with Barcelona in 2006, 2009, 2011, and 2015. Messi’s influence at Barcelona was profound because he set records for most goals throughout the tournament, particularly in group stages and knockout rounds.

    On the other hand, Ronaldo has lifted the UCL trophy five times, four times with Real Madrid in 2014, 2016, 2017, and 2018, and once with Manchester United in 2008. Ronaldo also has had a profound impact on his clubs, especially his achievements for Real Madrid, which have been monumental.

    Final Words About Messi vs. Ronaldo UCL Records

    Messi and Ronaldo are legends in football history, and their UCL records are a testament to their persistent performance. Both players have an intense rivalry, which elevates football as a sport. Each goal and achievement pushes these players to new Heights. Messi is a football artist with excellent precision, and Ronaldo’s power and athleticism continue to leave a legacy. While these footballers continue to inspire fans and athletes, people will remember their impact on UCL as legendary.

  2. Lionel Messi with Cristiano Ronaldo – Will they Play in the Same Team Before Retiring?

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    Lionel Messi with Cristiano Ronaldo – Will they Play in the Same Team Before Retiring?

    Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are two best football players. However, they have not played on the same team and likely won’t before retiring. Their storied rivalry peaked during their time at Barcelona and Real Madrid. While they have united for a Louis Vuitton campaign, the prospect of them sharing a club jersey remains a compelling ‘what if’ scenario, more fantasy than reality.

    Rumors About Messi and Ronaldo Playing Together

    The football world has been humming with speculation about Messi and Ronaldo possibly playing together, which provokes fans and experts alike. While rumors have circulated, including whispers of a PSG partnership or a Barcelona dream team, these have remained firmly in speculation.

    The reality, underscored by the vast geographical and contractual divides, is less promising. Betting markets, often a barometer of likelihood, reflect this. Bet365, the biggest MGA casino, suggests the odds of such a union are slim, and this dream pairing will likely remain just a dream.

    Career Highlights and Records

    Here are Messi and Ronaldo’s all-time stats and achievements.

    AchievementLionel MessiCristiano Ronaldo
    Ballon d’Or85
    UEFA Men’s Player of the Year23
    Champions League Titles45
    Domestic League Titles10 (La Liga)7 (Various)
    UEFA Champions League Goals120140
    International Goals86128
    European Golden Shoes64
    World Cup Appearances55

    Rivalry Impact on Football

    The Messi-Ronaldo rivalry transcended sport, becoming a global news phenomenon that fueled football’s popularity. Their persistent pursuit of brilliance pushed the boundaries of what was achievable on the pitch, inspiring a generation of players and captivating fans worldwide.

    So, this intense competition also revolutionized player branding, turning them into global icons with immense marketing power. As a result, this has been setting new standards for athletes as commercial entities.

    Fan and Media Perspectives

    Messi and Ronaldo’s rivalry is huge; it is more than just a game. Fans pick sides based on whether they like Messi’s smooth play or Ronaldo’s powerful style. Coaches are impressed by how much better they make their teams.

    People who study the game argue about how these two have changed football. Everyone talks about what being on the same team would be like. It would be amazing to watch, but it could also cause problems in the team. For now, it is just a big ‘what if’ that people love to talk about, even though it is not likely to happen.

    Post-Retirement Speculations

    After their illustrious playing days, Messi and Ronaldo could take on roles that shape the future of football. According to Football Transfers, Messi has hinted at wanting to be a sporting director, shaping a club’s vision and nurturing talent. Sporting News reports that Ronaldo’s plans seem more varied, with possibilities ranging from coaching to exploring new ventures like acting or further studies.

    Both icons have the potential to inspire as ambassadors, leveraging their global influence for the sport’s growth. Their post-retirement paths will likely reflect their personalities: Messi quietly crafting a team’s success behind the scenes. Ronaldo will possibly take a more public-facing role. Whatever they choose, their impact on football will undoubtedly continue.

    Personal Relationship

    Off the pitch, Messi and Ronaldo share a relationship built on mutual respect. Despite their intense rivalry, they are cordial and recognize each other’s talents. They are not close friends, as they have never played together. However, they appreciate each other’s skills and contributions to football. Ronaldo even had a dinner invite to Messi at a UEFA Champions League draw, highlighting their friendly relationship.

    The Future of Football Without Them

    The departure of Messi and Ronaldo will mark the end of an era, but it also indicates a new chapter in football. Emerging talents like Mbappe, Haaland, and Fati are ready to carry the torch, bringing their flair and brilliance to the pitch. The void left by these legends will be felt, but it is an opportunity for the next generation to forge their paths and redefine greatness.

    Football will evolve, as it always does, with fresh narratives and rivalries captivating fans worldwide. The legacy of Messi and Ronaldo is not just in their records but in the inspiration they have provided to millions of aspiring players who dream of one day achieving their version of greatness.

    Final Words About Messi and Ronaldo Playing Together

    While the fantasy of Messi and Ronaldo uniting on the pitch remains interesting, it is a spectacle unlikely to materialize. However, Their legacies are unparalleled, having redefined football’s potential and global impact. As they approach retirement, their influence persists, promising to shape the sport’s future and inspire new legends to emerge.

  3. Should Lionel Messi Consider a Move Away from La Liga?

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    Lionel Messi began the 2018/19 season by grabbing a microphone and declaring to a rapt audience that he would bring the Champions League back to Barcelona. A crowd of more than 70,000 fans inside the Nou Camp roared with delight at this display of ambition and determination from their inspirational captain. The mercurial forward then set about making good on his promise, banging in 12 goals in 10 games to put Barca on the brink of the final. Yet his team somehow contrived to throw away a 3-0 aggregate lead on a humbling night at Anfield and the great man was left crestfallen.

    You could not accuse Messi of lacking effort. The 31-year-old fired in a hat-trick to put PSV Eindhoven to the sword in their opening group stage contest. He scored twice at Wembley to vanquish Tottenham. He grabbed the winner in a second match against PSV Eindhoven and sent them through to the knockout stages. He was irrepressible in the second leg of Barcelona’s last 16 clash against Lyon, scoring twice and laying on another two assists to hand his side a 5-1 victory. At times this season, the Spanish champions have looked like a one-man team, a sentiment emphasised when Messi needed to come off the bench to score in the 1-0 win over Levante to secure the title.

    Messi’s Individual Brilliance

    Barcelona were overwhelming favourites to reach the Champions League final, and the pundits and odds compilers at bookmakers like marathonbet.co.uk were dazzled by his brilliance once more. Yet Barcelona played like schoolboys in the return leg. They were outfoxed, overrun and totally ripped apart by Jurgen Klopp’s men, who played heavy metal football at full blast and ran riot on a stirring night at Anfield. It was heart breaking for Messi, but a grim sense of déjà vu washed over the Barcelona fans.

    Just last season, they threw away a three-goal aggregate lead against Roma in the quarter-finals of this competition. Roma were not a particularly impressive side, and Liverpool quietly butchered them in the semis. It all points to an alarming mentality among this team, who now seem to have a mental block when it comes to the Champions League. They have not been crowned champions of Europe since 2015, when goals from Ivan Rakitic, Suarez and Neymar handed them a 3-1 victory over Juventus.

    Messi has now won 10 La Liga titles, an extremely impressive haul when you consider just how much money Real Madrid throw around. For the majority of that time he was in direct competition with Cristiano Ronaldo at Real, yet invariably Messi’s Barcelona prevailed in the domestic stakes. The Messi versus Ronaldo debate could rage for eternity, but in the silverware stakes Messi is largely in the ascendancy. He has 10 league titles to Ronaldo’s six and he has more cup winner’s medals too, but he does trail the Portuguese superstar in terms of Champions League titles.

    Ronaldo won the competition with Man Utd in 2008, then with Real in 2014, before winning it three times in a row between 2016 and 2018, taking his tally to five. Ronaldo has now moved to Italy, where he has just led Juventus to the Serie A title, although they also faltered in the Champions League. Messi remains stuck on four Champions League titles and he may be tempted to abandon his team and head off for pastures new in a bid to secure more success in Europe.

    Scarce Options on the Continent

    However, it is hard to see where he would go. The case of Neymar provides a cautionary tale about turning your back on Barcelona in search of fame and fortune elsewhere. The Brazilian wanted to escape Messi’s shadow at the Nou Camp and become known as the world’s best player by flourishing elsewhere. He decided that the French capital was the perfect destination for him to achieve this, but the results of this gamble have been distinctly underwhelming. PSG may have cantered to a couple of Ligue 1 titles, but there is nothing particularly impressive about that when you consider the level of competition in France and the amount the Parisians spend. PSG have massively struggled in Europe and this season they were dumped out of the Champions League by a poor Man Utd side.

    There is no way that Juventus could afford to pair Messi with Ronaldo up front, and it is unlikely that they would want to play together in the same team. Bayern Munich cannot afford him either, and it is inconceivable to imagine Messi moving to Madrid. That leaves England as the only realistic destination for the Argentinean virtuoso, and it is certainly an intriguing one. However, options there are limited. Man City could be a conceivable destination for him and the opportunity to link up with Pep Guardiola once more could be an influence.

    Further down the Premier League table there is no way Arsenal or Tottenham could capture Messi’s signature. Chelsea could afford him, but they have been hit by a transfer ban for the next two windows, and owner Roman Abramovich seems to have fallen somewhat out of love with his west London project. That leaves only Liverpool and Man Utd. The Red Devils could probably scrape together the cash to sign Messi, but Old Trafford is an unattractive destination right now. Anfield is an extremely attractive one, but it is doubtful that Liverpool could afford Messi without having to offload several stars, and he is not really a Jurgen Klopp type of player anyway.

    Overhauling Barcelona

    Messi’s best bet is to stick around at the Nou Camp and apply intense pressure on the board to build a team around him that is capable of ending the drought in Europe. His individual brilliance is enough to swing most games in his team’s favour, but he needs more help from his teammates. Rather than having a mental block, you could actually accuse Barca of having a physical one. Midfielders Sergio Busquets, Rakitic and Arturo Vidal are all past 30 now, and they lacked the energy to cope with Liverpool’s all-action style in the second leg of their semi-final clash.

    Busquets looks a shadow of his former self, age is catching up with Suarez and this team needs a fresh injection of youthful dynamism. The signings of Ousmane Dembele and Philippe Coutinho have not really worked out, but Barcelona are among the world’s top three richest clubs and they will surely spend big in the summer once more. They have already captured the signature of Ajax’s exciting young midfielder, Frenkie de Jong, while Antoine Griezmann is also expected to join the club. Barcelona will be hell-bent on seizing more silverware during the twilight years of the Messi era, and there is no better home for him in world football. The adulation he receives at the Nou Camp is huge and he can repay the love by leading a new-look Barca to European glory in the years ahead.

  4. Champions League Knockout Stages

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    messi

    While January inevitably has fans bemoaning the lack of football as several top European leagues take their winter breaks, the dawn of a New Year nevertheless brings us ever closer to the Champions League knockout rounds. There is a really open feel to this year’s competition, and it’s not a stretch to say any one of ten teams could win it.

    Of course, if we are going to talk about the favourites with the bookies, Ronaldo’s Juventus and Messi’s Barcelona are right up there. In fact, Bet365 have put Barcelona as the second-favorites at 9/2, with Juventus next at 6/1. Manchester City lead the way with all major bookmakers, coming in at a best price of 19/5 with Sportingbet.

    Barcelona and Messi have been handed a fairly decent Last 16 tie against Lyon. While the French are a good side, Ernesto Valverde will have be happy and you can see why Barcelona are given odds of just 1/16 by Bet365 to make it through to the quarters.

    Atlético will frustrate Juventus

    Ronaldo, meanwhile, must be cursing his luck after Juventus were paired with old foe Atlético Madrid. Not only are Diego Simeone’s men a tough nut to crack, but their playing style will really frustrate Juventus, especially in midfield. Bet365 are calling it at 2/5 for Juventus to qualify for the next round and Atlético at 7/4, but the bookies might have got their sums wrong here.

    There is no shortage of brilliant ties in the Last 16, with Bayern Munich vs Liverpool arguably among the pick of the bunch. Both are given odds of 11/1 by BlackType to win the Champions League, although the odds on Liverpool are as low as 8/1 and Munich as high as 14/1 (Bet365).

    Borussia Dortmund will take on Tottenham Hotspur in what might be just the hardest to call. Bookies are actually split on who will qualify, with William Hill going 5/6 on Dortmund and Tottenham. Both sides are available at 25/1 to win the Champions League (Bet365) and well worth a shot for value hunting punters.

    Spurs and Dortmund perfect dark horses

    This guide to Champions League betting promotions and odds has lots of free bet offers, and while Dortmund or Spurs might be worth a shot to nothing at 25/1, it might interest some to look at the 40/1 (Betfair, Bet365) for Manchester United. Yes, they play PSG (7/1) and have had a tumultuous season, but under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer United have been playing with a freedom not seen in a long time. There is no pressure on United and their caretaker manager, so you might just see a run similar to Chelsea under Roberto Di Matteo in 2012.

    ronaldo

    What about Ronaldo’s ex-club, Real Madrid? They also have had a rotten (by their standards) season, and fans might have a rude awakening if they think Madrid will walk over Ajax. The Dutch giants have scored 60 league goals in just 17 games in the Eredivisie and will have no fear of Los Blancos. 12/1 is cited by Bet365 for Madrid to lift yet another Champions League trophy. While they can never be ruled out, punters should seriously consider looking at the 3/1 for Ajax to knock out the champions next month.

    A final word on the top scorer race, obviously dominated by Messi and Ronaldo over the last decade. Messi, with six goals, is favourite at 13/8 (Betfair), despite trailing Robert Lewandowski by two goals. Ronaldo, who has just one strike, is down at 33/1. Although, you would be foolish to dismiss the Portuguese maestro’s chances of making up the ground.

  5. 2018 – A roundup of sporting excellence

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    2018, a year that will long live in the memory of footballing fans from all around the world. The best tournament in the world was brilliantly hosted by Russia and will be fondly remembered as the summer, football came home.

    Yes, England finished fourth, but, it was an unforgettable tournament for all England fans that made us fall madly in love with international football again.

    “Football’s coming home” has been the rallying cry even after the World Cup ended, as England qualified for the finals of the new UEFA Nations League while claiming some bittersweet revenge against Croatia.

    Highlights of the past year

    • Real Madrid beat Liverpool 3-1 to claim their third straight Champions League Trophy.
    • Cristiano Ronaldo finishes as the Champions League top scorer for the sixth season running. (But, transfers to Juventus for £99.2m)
    • Man City win the Premier League while breaking seven records, including the first team in PL history to reach 100 points.
    • Germany crash out of the World Cup Group Stage for the first time in 80 years!
    • France wins the 2018 World Cup, defeating Croatia 4-2 in the Final.
    • Luka Modric wins the 2018 FIFA Ballon d’Or. The first player other than Ronaldo and Messi to win for ten years! In fact, Messi somehow finished fifth, with Ronaldo finishing second.

    New Betting Sites 2019

    Sadly, there is no standout International tournament in 2019, but we will see the finals of the UEFA Nation’s League take place and the Euro 2020 qualifiers.

    England are joint-favourites with Portugal to win the Nations League at 3.00, while the Netherlands are at 4.35 and Switzerland are 7.5.

    To find the best new betting sites of 2019, we recommend BettingLounge.co.uk. Here you will find all the latest bookmakers complete with comparisons, reviews and their welcome bonuses.

    Messi vs Ronaldo 2019

    The two biggest names in world football are not playing in the same league for the first time in nine years! But, there is every chance they will meet in the Champions League with both Juventus and Barcelona qualifying.

    Both are still playing to a ridiculously high standard with Messi sitting as La Liga’s top scorer on 14 goals and 10 assists despite being out for a few weeks with a forearm fracture.

    Ronaldo is currently the second highest scorer in the Serie A with 11 goals and five assists, despite not scoring in his first three matches.

    But he is far behind in his Champions League scoring tally, with just one goal in the group stages while Robert Lewandowski tops the list with eight goals for Bayern Munich.

  6. BettingLounge Scorecast Challenge

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    Think you can pick the first goalscorer and correct score of some of the biggest games in English football this season?

    Try our BettingLounge Scorecast Challenge for the chance to win two football tickets to any UK match of your choice!

    How do I enter?

    We are running this awesome promotion through our BettingLounge Tips Twitter account.

    All you need to do is follow our account, reply to the tweet with your pick and use the hashtag #BLScorecastChallenge. Finally, retweet the original post and you are good to go!

    Example: Man City v Man United – Lukaku, 3-1 Man City #BLScorecastChallenge

    What happens if I guess correctly?

    If you are following our Twitter account, retweeted the post and picked the correct scorecast.

    You will be contacted through Direct Message on Twitter and notified in a tagged Tweet.

    But, if there is more than one winner, we will run a random draw to select a winner. One winner will get two tickets to any game of their choice in the UK (Subject to availability).

    If we cannot get tickets for the game, we will buy a football shirt of your choice.

    Select Matches

    • Man City v Man United – Sunday 11th November 2018
    • Spurs v Chelsea – Saturday 24th November
    • Liverpool v Everton – Sunday 2nd December
    • Arsenal v Spurs – Sunday 2nd December
    • Chelsea v Man City – Saturday 8th December
    • Liverpool v Man United – Sunday 16th December
    • Everton v Spurs – Sunday 23rd December
    • Liverpool v Arsenal  – Saturday 29th December

    Rules

    1. UK residents only to enter the giveaway (18+)
    2. One entry per account for the correct score and first goalscorer of the selected match
    3. One winner that gets two tickets. If there is more than one winner then we’ll do a draw
    4. Entries after kick-off will not be eligible
    5. If there is a 0-0 draw the challenge will be void for that match
    6. Two tickets available (UK matches only)
    7. Tickets subject to availability
    8. Football shirt of your choice if tickets are not available
  7. Five Great Things About Bettinglounge.co.uk

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    Want a site that will list, compare and impartially review all of the best betting sites in the UK? Look no further.

    BettingLounge not only provides you with all the best welcome offers for new customers but scours the internet daily to find the best promotions to ensure you get the best odds and value for your money.

    Promotions Page

    Most comparative betting sites will only list the welcome offers for the sportsbook or casino. But, BettingLounge updates their promotions page every day with offers like free bets, odds boosts, money back specials and competitions.

    It saves you both time and money, from not having to search each individual bookie for their offers, and money because you can use their money back or free bet offers to bet risk-free, on many different sporting events each week.

    Design and Accessibility

    BettingLounge has a simplistic and easy to navigate design that works. From smartly designed lists to the handy drop-down menu. The site is laid out to make it fast and easy to find the necessary information you’re looking for.

    It is optimised for all devices including mobiles, tablets and desktops for complete compatibility, no matter your choice in technology.

    Betting Guide

    The betting guide is great for anyone looking for simple advice for beginners, to well thought out answers for common betting issues.

    The guides are split into three different sections. Firstly, a total beginners guides for setting up your new betting account, using e-wallets or understanding betting odds.

    Secondly, guides for betting on different sports like football, tennis and horse racing. Lastly, more complex betting issues like understanding Asian Handicaps or Betting Margins.

    Blog

    In the BettingLounge blog, you will find previews and tips for every single Premier League match of the season. Furthermore, in the previews, you will find the tips have the best odds available from all the different betting sites.

    The post’s themselves will contain both opinions and facts about the two teams, previous form and key stats to aid your betting decision.

    Detailed Reviews

    On BettingLounge you will find different pages with the best betting sites for select sports. There are pages for football, tennis and horse racing bookies, and pages for mobile and in-play betting sites.

    Other sites may offer something similar. But, BettingLounge is by far more detailed in its explanation and factors for how they decide the best betting sites.

    As well as comparing the different betting sites for each sport, there are detailed, unbiased reviews of the bookmaker as a whole.

  8. Four great things about TVSportGuide.com

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    Long gone are the days in which you had to google each sporting event to see what time the game starts, or which channel it is on. TVSportGuide.com do all the hard work and collect an awesome list of all the best sporting events around the world that are live on UK channels.

    You will find a wide range of sporting events from football to formula 1 in an easy to read and highly customizable list.

    User-Friendly Design

    The TVSportGuide design is aimed towards the mobile platform with all the information being centred down the middle. Yet, it also looks great on a desktop using a smart and functional layout. Without any customisation, you will see a long list of all sporting events available on UK channels down the middle, organised by date and time.

    The earliest events start at the top and work there way down until 4:59 am. After this time the event will move to the next day starting from 05:00 am onwards. This is due to them following a TV-listings standard used by most similar sites. Bear in mind, all the times shown are the starting times of the event, not the start of the studio build up.

    Device Accessibility

    You are in no way limited to using just your laptop or desktop. Instead, you can download their awesome app that’s compatible with iPhone, Android and iPad. If you have any other devices, you can simply use their mobile optimised site on the browser of your choice.

    Favourites Tool

    You can customise which events you want to see by favouriting certain keywords. Say you wanted to only view which EFL Championship games are shown on TV. Simply favourite the word “Championship” and click it in the favourites section. Then, you will only see a list of EFL Championship games for the month.

    You can do this with hundreds of different keywords ranging from competitions, country, sport, leagues and so many more. It is really a cool feature to completely customise the list to your preferences.

    Settings Customisation

    To take their already awesome customisation even further, go to their settings page. Here, you can customise which TV channels, sports or leagues you want to see. You can simply deselect any channels or leagues by clicking the box. These settings are automatically saved whenever you make a change.

    Say you only have access to NowTV, simply deselect all the other channels to view a list of all the events you can watch on NowTV.

  9. Ronaldo & Messi at the world cup

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    Russia 2018 is fast approaching and it’s the most magical time for a football fan, with nations across the globe putting aside the club mentality that has possessed them for the last nine months and coming together with one shared hope, that their country can win the World Cup.

    For so many years, The World Cup has been a stage for big player performances. It’s a platform that has produced many superstars over the years and I expect Russia 2018 to be no different. Who will be this years James Rodriguez? Will anyone turn up to the extent that Ronaldo did in 2002, when he scored eight goals for Brazil as they lifted the trophy in Japan. Incidentally, it was actually Oliver Kahn who was awarded the highly-coveted Player of The Tournament award.

    Two players that will be under the spotlight at this World Cup is Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, with many speculating that it could be the last time we see them both in an international tournament. Both players are not getting any younger and by the time Qatar 2022 comes around, the Portuguese forward will be thirty-seven years old. He’s always looked after his body, but even for him that would be some achievement.

    Both players have had fine seasons, as they often do. As you can see by our stats, Messi has forty-five goals this season, just one more than Ronaldo, who has more than double the amount of Champions League goals this season.  For the fourth year in a row, Messi has more assists than Ronaldo, who has been playing more as a central striker at times at Real Madrid under Zinadine Zidane.

    Portugal will be confident given their recent Euro 2016 success, where they lifted the trophy despite winning just once in normal time and drawing their first three games. They showed that there’s more than one way to win and they have been continuing that trend in the build-up to Russia, winning the last five games and picking up 2.20 points per game over the last fifteen. Despite this, they will still have a huge reliance on their captain, talisman and all-time top scorer Cristiano Ronaldo.

    Messi, who is also his nations all-time top scorer, is surrounded by players of a much higher quality. In fact, some of the players left behind by Argentina, like Mauro Icardi, would walk into the Portugal starting eleven. However, they have had their own issues leading up to the World Cup and needed a hat-trick from Messi against Ecuador to ensure they were on the plane. They have won just seven of the last fifteen games, conceding a high number of goals. Augero, Dybala, Di Maria, Messi… With all this talent at the top of the pitch, it’s up to Jorge Sampaoli to ensure that they improve at the back if they’re to stand a good chance of progressing to the latter stages of the competition.

    Both Portugal and Argentina will face some tough competition, with the former being dropped into a group with neighbours Spain, one of the early favourites for the whole competition. Who do you think will progress further in Russia, Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi?

    #FootyStats

  10. Messi and Ronaldo: One Last World Cup?

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    This site has done much to highlight the superlative achievements of both Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. But, it has become clear that the biggest omission from their CVs is a World Cup winners medal. If the pair retired now, the lack of a medal wouldnt tarnish their standing in the pantheon of football greats. However, it would be a fitting finale to either players international career. Of course, the 2022 World Cup is not completely out of the question, certainly for Messi who will be 34 at the time, but you would have to say this is the last chance for both stars when at the very peak of their powers.

    So, how will they fare at the World Cup in Russia? Will they land individual success? Or captain their nations to glory? Below is a quick guide to all the odds and betting markets for Messi, Ronaldo and their two nations in Russia. If you have your own idea of who will succeed, click the link to bet on Messi and Ronaldo at the World Cup with a free bet.

    Argentina:

    Messi and Argentina came agonisingly close to lifting the World Cup in 2014 after losing in extra-time to Germany. While Germany as the victors came away with all the plaudits (they are co-favourites at 5/1 for the 2018 World Cup), if you re-watch the Final you will see that Argentina were arguably the better side. The problem is that both sides have gone in opposite directions since that time: Germany have become stronger, whereas Argentina struggled to qualify and were humiliated by Spain last week. The odds of 10/1 for Argentina look tempting, but they will have to get their act together. They are 8/13 to win Group D ahead of Nigeria, Croatia and Iceland.

    Messi Individual Odds:

    Messi is the outright favourite with nearly all bookmakers to be the top scorer in Russia, with the best odds available around 10/1 (188Bet, Bet Victor).

    Portugal:

    Despite being European Champions, Portugal are among the dark horses for the World Cup. The current odds of 28/1 (Sporting Bet) look decent value however, for a side that always finds a way to go deep in the big tournaments. They are heavily fancied to join Spain in qualifying from Group B (ahead of Morocco and Iran), with odds of 2/1 for Portugal to top the group. If they qualify, they will play a team from a weak Group A (Russia, Uruguay, Saudi Arabia, Egypt) in the Last 16. On that evidence, you would have to say the World Cup draw is favourable for Ronaldo and Portugal.

    Ronaldo individual odds:

    Ronaldo is around third favourite to be top scorer, coming in behind Messi and Neymar at odds of 14/1.

    Will Messi and Ronaldo meet at the World Cup?

    The odds for a Final between Portugal and Argentina are currently 66/1 (Bet Stars). However, they will obviously have to be kept apart in the draw. That will mean that one side wins the group and one side comes second. If they both win their groups, they will potentially meet in the quarter-finals in Sochi on 7th July. The odds for Argentina to reach the quarters are 4/6 and Portugal 11/8.

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