Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are in a constant battle to outdo each other. However, while the Argentinian is praised for his ability to read and influence the game, the Portuguese is revered for his goal-scoring prowess.
One number which is often put forward in any particular argument involving the pair is 126 – the number of goals Ronaldo has scored in the Champions League till this point. For comparison, he is eighteen ahead of his closest rival.
However, if one more to examine the numbers more closely, one would find that despite all of Ronaldo’s UCL goals, Lionel Messi still manages to edge him on goals per game!
The Argentine has made 132 appearances in the competition so far, scoring 108 times with an average of 0.81 goals per game. His arch-nemesis, on the other hand, has appeared 165 times, and has 126 goals to his name, averaging 0.76 per game. Therefore, while Ronaldo has more goals to his name, Messi has had a better impact in fewer matches!
Something to note at this point is that statistics often do not reflect the whole truth. For example, a player with one goal in one match would reflect a better goal percentage than both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. However, given the sheer numbers which both superstars have managed to accumulate over the past decade, one can’t overlook this crucial point.
On the other hand, if one were to compare just the number of goals between the pair, they would find that Ronaldo is currently cruising in first place with 126 to his name. Messi, meanwhile, is second with one hundred and eight 108. Furthermore, the Juventus star does indeed have more Champions League titles to his name between the two.
Both Messi and Ronaldo have been at their absolute best in the Champions League again this season, with the former already guaranteed a better finish than the latter. Moreover, the Argentine has scored four more goals than his Portuguese counterpart, as he currently leads the scorers’ chart with ten to his name.
(Statistics as per UEFA Champions League)