The comparisons between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi will always result in intense debates that are almost impossible to resolve. There are strong cases to be made for both players as to who is better. However, the following are some of Ronaldo’s achievements that Messi may never quite manage to emulate.
1. Winning a major international trophy
Ronaldo has been the face of Portuguese football since his early 20s and Messi has also been the face of Argentinian football since his early 20s. Both Portugal and Argentina have been under-achievers in international football in recent decades and both countries have been considered one-man nations, which rely too heavily on Ronaldo and Messi, respectively.
Ronaldo ended his international trophy drought when he won the Euro 2016 Championships, with Portugal 20/1 with bookmakers to retain their title in 2020. As this review of matchbook shows, better odds may be available when betting directly against other players. Messi, meanwhile, has yet to win a major international trophy and at 31 years old, it remains to be seen if he will ever do so.
Ronaldo’s international stats also make for better reading. CR7 has managed 85 goals for his country from 156 appearances, while Messi has scored 65 goals for his country from 129 appearances.
2. Score more than 50 goals during six consecutive seasons
From the 2010-11 campaign until the 2015-16 season, Ronaldo scored more than 50 goals in six consecutive seasons. Messi, meanwhile, scored more than 50 goals in four out of those six seasons. Considering his advancing age, Messi may never score more than 50 goals over six consecutive seasons as Ronaldo did.
3. Goals to game ratio in La Liga
Both Ronaldo and Messi are prolific scorers and are likely to find the back of the net every weekend. During his time in the La Liga, Ronaldo scored 311 league goals for Madrid from 292 games. He, therefore, scores an average of more than a goal a game.
Messi has so far scored 414 goals from 445 La Liga games and therefore averages slightly less than a goal per game. Messi may never be able to better Ronaldo’s goal to game record at this stage of his career.
4. Success in different leagues
One of the big criticisms of Messi is that he did not taste success outside of the La Liga or outside of Barcelona. Some critics argue that he would have not have fared as well had he been playing in England.
Messi never played nor won titles outside the La Liga. Ronaldo, by contrast, won three Premier League titles with Manchester United and also helped the Red Devils to win one Champions League title. In addition to his successes at the Santiago Bernabeu, he also helped Juventus to win the Supercoppa Italia this season. The Old Lady of Italian football also convincingly won the Serie A convincingly this season.