ARE current La Liga stars Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo the greatest ever football goalscorers?
Some say yes, some say no… but their personal records, without doubt, are quite brilliant and speak for themselves.
Cristiano Ronaldo, born in Funchal, Madiera, Portugal on 5 February 1985, was a junior with Andorinha (1992-95) and Nacional (1995-97) before spending six years with Sporting Club Portugal (1997-2003). He then assisted Manchester United (until 2009) and is now in his ninth year with Real Madrid, who signed him for €94m/£80m (rate at the time).
As at 10 December 2017, the Portuguese superstar had scored 622 goals in 885 appearances for club and country, including 118 in 292 games for Manchester United, a staggering 420 in 413 outings for Real and 79 in 147 full internationals for his country.
Lionel Messi was born in Rosario, Argentina on 24 June 1987. He was a junior and youth team player with Newell’s Old Boys before joining Barcelona, as a 17 year-old in 2004. He is still at the Nou Camp, nearly 14 years on, having played at four different levels for the Spanish giants, scoring 525 goals in 606 first-class appearances. He has also represented his country at three different levels, bagging 61 goals in 123 full internationals. His overall record for club and country is 603 goals in 751 match appearances.
Between the two superstars have scored 1,225 goals in a combined total of 1,636 appearances on football pitches, world-wide. The imperious duo also stand one-two in the all-time list of Champions League marksmen with Ronaldo on 114 goals and Messi 97. Ronaldo, in fact, is the first player to score in every Champions League group game in one season, doing so between September-December 2017.
‘CR & LM’ have also collected medals galore and between them they have a haul of 55 – Messi 31 and Ronaldo 24.
Both players have also won several individual awards including the European Player of the Year and the coveted Ballon d’Or. Indeed Ronaldo was award the latter again in December.
I’ve had the pleasure of seeing both in action live and on TV, and having been in football myself for many years, as player, coach, manager, reporter and author, I will certainly put this duo high up on my ‘greatest-ever goalscorers’ menu.