The argument of Lionel Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo will rumble on long after both men retire. Both players have been playing at their own level over the past decade and no one else has come close to matching their achievements.Messi has dominated domestically with Barcelona, winning 10 La Liga titles since making his debut, as well as six Copa del Rey trophies. Ronaldo has made his claim to the G.O.A.T (greatest of all time) crown by proving his dominance in the Champions League. He has five European Cups to his name, yet only two La Liga titles – but those are complemented by three Premier League’s and most recently, a Serie A title.
Both men also have five Ballon d’Or wins, proving once again that they are well matched against each other and miles ahead of anybody else. But on the international stage, there seems to be a real gulf in class between the pair. Ronaldo has found a fair amount of success with Portugal, winning Euro 2016 and the Nations League, while Messi has never won a major international trophy with Argentina.The Portuguese captain has also scored far more international goals, 88, than his rival, who has 67. Fans of Ronaldo will suggest that he’s the better player due to his superiority on the international stage. But a comparison of the two might not be very fair. If we look at the teams both players have scored against, it seems Messi comes up against much tougher opposition. 56 of his 67 international strikes (84%) have been against FIFA’s top 50 ranked nations, while Ronaldo has only scored 35 of his 88 goals (35%) against teams inside the top 50.Based on these stats alone, Messi fans can claim their man is more effective against tougher opposition – but Ronaldo fans will suggest that he scores most of his goals in friendlies. Their records against top 50 ranked sides just adds another layer to the on-going debate of Messi vs Ronaldo, which will no doubt continue to rage on for many more years.