In Brief

Messi vs. Ronaldo: player profiles

A look at the two superstar footballers

With 11 Ballon d’Or awards between them there’s no doubt that Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo will go down in history as two of the best football players ever.

Messi has spent his whole senior club career with FC Barcelona, where he has won multiple trophies including Spain’s La Liga ten times and the Uefa Champions League four times. For Argentina Messi has a record 151 caps for his country in which he has scored 76 goals. Argentina won the 2021 Copa America with Messi top goalscorer in the competition. After winning a gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics the Copa America triumph in 2021 was Messi’s first in senior international football.   

Portugal skipper Ronaldo has played his club football with Sporting Lisbon (2002-03), Manchester United (2003-09), Real Madrid (2009-2018) and Juventus (2018-present). His trophy collection includes five Champions League winners’ medals and league titles in England, Spain and Italy.

On the international stage Ronaldo is the joint-highest goalscorer of all-time with 109 goals, he shares the record with Iran legend Ali Daei. Ronaldo won the European Championship with Portugal in 2016.

Lionel Messi player profile
  • Age: 34
  • Born: 24 June 1987
  • Clubs: Barcelona (2004-present) 
  • Nationality: Argentine 
  • Ballon d’Or wins: 6 wins (2019, 2015, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009)
  • The Best Fifa Men’s Player: 1 (2019)
  • Champions League winners’ medals - 4: 2005–06, 2008–09, 2010–11, 2014–15 (all with Barcelona)
  • Laureus World Sportsman of the Year award: 1 (2019, joint winner with Lewis Hamilton)
  • Captained Argentina in their Copa America win in 2021
Cristiano Ronaldo player profile
  • Age: 36
  • Born: 5 February 1985
  • Clubs: Juventus (2018-present); Real Madrid (2009-2018); Manchester United (2003-09); Sporting Lisbon (2002-03) 
  • Nationality: Portuguese 
  • Ballon d’Or wins: 5 wins (2017, 2016, 2014, 2013, 2008) 
  • The Best Fifa Men’s Player: 2 wins (2016 and 2017)
  • Champions League winners’ medals - 5: 2007–08 with Man Utd; 2013–14, 2015–16, 2016–17 and 2017–18 with Real Madrid
  • Captained Portugal in their Euro 2016 win

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