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Messi and Cristiano: 1,422 goals and a never-ending competition

BeSoccer by BeSoccer @besoccer_com - 0 8,893

Pin and Cristiano: 1,422 goals and a never-ending competition. BeSoccer
and Cristiano: 1,422 goals and a never-ending competition. BeSoccer

Messi and Cristiano: 1,422 goals and a never-ending competition

BeSoccer by BeSoccer @besoccer_com - 0 8,893

Leo Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Cristiano Ronaldo and Leo Messi. The two great geniuses of today's football. Their coexistence in football has become, unintentionally, a race to see who scores more goals. The current hiatus is a good time to dive into ProFootballDB and keep track of it.

The image that illustrates this report of ProFootballDB is a 'Scalextric', a very accurate vision of what the coexistence of Cristiano Ronaldo and Leo Messi in the same football era has meant. Two goalscorers competing with or without wanting to, sometimes one going faster than the other, always ahead, in a vibrant race that seems to have no end. 

To the delight of those of us who have witnessed football since 2005, when the Argentine scored his first goal. The Portuguese had begun to write his own story in 2002, but it was not until three years later that the fierce competition started. 15 years later, with football temporarily stopped, the two football superstars have scored 1422 through Barcelona, Sporting, Manchester United, Real Madrid, Juventus, Argentina and Portugal. 

725 for Cristiano, 697 from Leo. As happened for years between Federer and Nadal in tennis, their contemporary coexistence has meant that there is no one king of football, but two, for more than a decade. But that intense rivalry has made them better season after season.

Diving into their data is a journalistic treat no matter whose side you are on. The stats are truly admirable: in 2012, Cristiano ended the calendar year with 63 goals, but it's Messi, the most decisive goalscorer, who left an unbeatable number: 91 goals in one calendar year. The sum of the two reaches 154, which means that, statistically, fans could have seen a goal from Cristiano or Messi every second day and a half. 

Messi y Cristiano: 1.422 goles y un pique interminable

Alternation in Glory

And them, Cristano reached his peak. His 69 goals were 24 more than those of his great rival the previous year (although Messi missed more than two months due to injury), which gives an idea of how unpredictable the hand to hand has always been. 

Since 2005, when the two sides competed together, the Portuguese scored more goals than any other player in eight years, compared to seven for the Barcelona player. Until the stop for the coronavirus in the current one, Cristiano was winning by 13-9.

In two years the fight was closed by only one goal. In 2011, with 60 to 59 for Cristiano, and in 2017, with 54 to 53 for Messi. They have never tied. 

Messi's record season with Barcelona saw him reach 79 goals, for the 12 with the Argentina National Team. Both took place in the same year, that 2012 that will go down in history as the best Leo Messi ever. 

However, Cristiano's two records happened in different years. 59 was his peak at the club level, with Real Madrid in 2013; the 14 with the Portuguese National Team in 2019 raised the cap he had imposed in 2016. 

Messi y Cristiano: 1.422 goles y un pique interminable

Who wins on percentages? 

In terms of averages, Leo Messi has a slight advantage. We're talking about 697 goals in 879 games. In other words, a balance in all this time of 0.79 goals per game. In Cristiano's case, his 725 are distributed in just a thousand games, so his average is 0.725 per game.  

The Argentie closed this famous 2012 with 1.37 goals per game, although on six occasions the Portuguese had an average of more than one goal per game (2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and what we have of 2020), for Messi's five year with that same stat (2010, 2012, 2013, 2016 and 2018). 

In addition, it is clear that the Juve striker has been more prolific with his national team. 99 goals with Portugal, which represents 13.66% of all his goals. On the other hand, Messi's 70 with Argentina make 10.04% of his goals.

It is hard to imagine, but their production will get worse, even if they have some time left. Joining the figures of both, between 2009 and 2018 in the middle of the decade of the beasts, they never went below the hundred. It will be strange to see it happen again. 

However, the two players have been extremely careful with their fitness, so they should still be able to grant us their talent for a couple of years. The 'bianconero' is three years older, which is also why he currently leads Messi by 28 goals. The big challenge that still remains to be seen is who will have scored the most goals when they both decide to retire.

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