Legacy: Who’s is better – Messi or Ronaldo?

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The Cambridge dictionary defines a legacy as something that is a part of your history or that remains from an earlier time. Most major sports stars enjoy the money, but after a while it becomes about much more than that. They start to wonder “how will I be remembered?” And in no sport is that more relevant than soccer.

With two of the all time greats on the field in the same era, the question around their legacies burns in the hearts of fans – so Who’s is better – Messi or Ronaldo?

Who’s is better – Messi or Ronaldo? When will people stop asking that…

The debate surrounding Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi has become the defining argument of the modern football era. These two legends have been compared and contrasted since they began their careers. However, the question of legacy and who’s is better – Messi or Ronaldo is better has never been conclusively answered.

Both players have unique styles and strengths, each having dominated domestic and international football for over a decade. Let’s delve into the various aspects of their careers, comparing their club and international performances, titles, individual awards, and more to decide who’s is better – Messi or Ronaldo.

Club Goals

One of the most basic measures of a forward’s success is their goal-scoring prowess. Cristiano Ronaldo currently has the edge in total club goals scored, with 712 compared to Messi’s 703. However, Ronaldo has played for two more seasons than Messi. Nevertheless, both players have scored over 690 club goals in their careers, with a particularly golden period between 2009-10 and 2014-15, where they pushed each other to new heights.
While Ronaldo has more total goals, Messi has a higher season average (37.9 to 35).

His highest-scoring season was 2011-12, where he scored 73 goals. Ronaldo’s highest-scoring season came in 2014-15, with 61 goals. Ronaldo also scored more than 50 goals per season for six consecutive years between 2010-11 and 2015-16. In recent years, Ronaldo’s goal tally has somewhat declined. At the same time, Messi has remained consistent, though his average dropped after his first season with PSG in 2021-22.

Club Assists

Regarding providing assists, Messi is ahead of Ronaldo, with a total of 301 compared to Ronaldo’s 203. This difference has become more pronounced as their roles within their respective teams have evolved. Messi’s ability to create goals, in addition to scoring them, is a significant factor in the debate of who is the better player. Ronaldo also contributes assists, but the disparity between the two players in this area is notable.

Individual Awards tally – who’s is better: Messi or Roinaldo?

The individual accolades of Ronaldo and Messi have been a significant factor in their ongoing rivalry. Messi currently leads in Ballon d’Or wins, with seven compared to Ronaldo’s five. However, Ronaldo has more FIFA’s ‘The Best’ awards and UEFA Player of the Year titles.

Messi has won more League Player of the Year awards and claimed the European Golden Shoe a record six times, two more than Ronaldo. Both players have been named to the FIFPro World XI 14 times, highlighting the closely fought battle between the two.

Champions League

In the prestigious UEFA Champions League, Ronaldo is the all-time leading goal scorer, having scored 140 goals in 183 appearances. Messi, however, is just a little behind, with 129 goals in 163 appearances. Interestingly, Messi has a slightly better goal-per-game ratio (0.79) than Ronaldo (0.77). Nevertheless, Ronaldo also holds the record for most Champions League appearances, surpassing Iker Casillas.

World Cup

In terms of World Cup performances, Messi emerged as the winner in 2022 with Argentina, following a series of outstanding displays that saw him score seven goals and provide three assists. Before the 2022 World Cup, Ronaldo had scored more goals in the competition. Still, Messi turned the tide in his favour during the tournament. Messi’s World Cup record now stands at 13 goals in 26 appearances, compared to Ronaldo’s eight goals in 22 appearances.


Ronaldo and Messi have similar records at the international level. Still, Ronaldo has the edge in terms of total international goals, with 122 in 198 appearances, compared to Messi’s 102 in 174 appearances. As a result, Ronaldo became the top international goal scorer of all time, eclipsing Ali Daei’s record of 109 goals during Euro 2020. Messi, however, remains Argentina’s all-time leading goal scorer, having overtaken Gabriel Batistuta.


Messi has the edge in terms of titles won, with 29 compared to Ronaldo’s 22. Messi has 11 league titles, one more than Ronaldo, and one World Cup victory, while Ronaldo has yet to win the prestigious tournament. However, Ronaldo has won league titles in three countries (England, Spain, and Italy), which some argue strengthens his claim to the GOAT title. Ronaldo also has the edge in Champions League titles, with five to Messi’s four.

In international competitions, both players have had their share of success. Ronaldo has won the European Championship and the UEFA Nations League with Portugal. At the same time, Messi claimed the Copa America with Argentina in 2021 and triumphed in the 2022 Finalissima before lifting the World Cup in 2022. Additionally, Messi boasts an Olympic gold medal, which Ronaldo does not have.

Legacy conclusion: who’s is better – Messi or Ronaldo?

So in terms of Legacy – who’s is better – Ronaldo and Messi? Well, the issue is complex. Both players have enjoyed illustrious careers, consistently breaking records and collecting numerous individual and team awards. However, while Messi may have a slight edge in terms of titles, individual awards, and assists, Ronaldo has demonstrated his versatility by achieving success in multiple leagues and maintaining a remarkable goal-scoring record.

What is in Messi’s favour is that he’s still playing at the highest level. So, any current achievements of his carry far more weight in terms of prestige than Ronaldo’s.

Ultimately, when it comes down to legacy and who’s is better – Ronaldo or Messi…it’s a coin toss. It may come down to personal preference, as each player brings unique skills and qualities to the game. However, one thing is certain: football fans have been incredibly fortunate to witness the careers of these two extraordinary talents, and their legacies will undoubtedly continue to inspire future generations of players.

If you’re a fan of either of these superstars, let us know your decision about the indelible mark they leave behind: who’s is better – Messi or Ronaldo? And, if you’re looking for a wager on either of these two stars, check out our top reviewed sportsbook so you can put your money where your mouth is!