Jump directly to the content

News Corp is a network of leading companies in the worlds of diversified media, news, education, and information services.


Your Sun

A News UK Company

This stat perfectly highlights the difference between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo’s styles

Barcelona's No10 has stuck to his game plan throughout his career whereas Ronaldo as changed his approach dramatically

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo’s superhuman achievements in football have have set them apart from the rest.

The superstar pair will forever be linked to one another as their one-in-a-trillion careers just so happened to occur at the same time — luckily for us.

In terms of records and personal accolades they are similar in many ways.

But to appreciate them both fully we must also look at the differences.

Their friendly rivalry has inspired both to greatness

Their friendly rivalry has inspired both to greatness

The following stat highlights the degree of separation between the two’s contrasting, yet equally effective styles.

Messi needs to complete just six more take-ons (dribbles) this season to match Ronaldo’s total number of take-ons from last season.

The Argentine forward is likely to match his Portuguese counterpart’s tally from last term just four games into this campaign.

Lionel Messi has been constantly compared to Real Madrid rival Cristiano Ronaldo

Sorry, Neymar… you’re not quite there yet

This stat perfectly highlights their stylistic differences.

Messi roams the field in possession, committing defenders while patiently looking for an opening, while Ronaldo is devastatingly direct and efficient.


There’s more than one way to skin a cat, as the old saying goes.

Messi is the artist, Ronaldo is the machine.

Kays Ruiz has been compared by some to football royalty Lionel Messi

Surely the greatest dribbler to ever play the game

This stat also reinforces Ronaldo’s evolution as a player.

In his Sporting CP and early Man United days his take-ons would have been through the roof.

But as he’s matured and become an outright forward as opposed to a winger, he’s adapted his game.

These days, in his third or possibly fourth form, he’s pretty much the world’s best poacher with predatory positioning and instincts to match.

Few players, if any, would have been able to extend their peak through such canny adaption.

Cristiano Ronaldo kicked off Champions League campaign with brace

Getty Images
Born to score goals

You could also look as headed goals to reinforce the difference between the two.

Yes, Ronaldo is physically taller but his approach (and Real Madrid’s in general) also means he winds up on the end of crosses more often than the diminutive Messi, who is more likely to be the one providing the cross.

We feel you, mate

We feel you, mate

Whereas Ronaldo has remodelled his game several times throughout his career (each time with great success), Messi has more or less stuck to the original blueprint.

Whatever your preference you have to admire and respect these two legends.

Let’s enjoy every second of them before all we have left is YouTube compilations.

Alvaro Morata or Alexandre Lacazette? Why not both in this weekend’s big game?

That’s the beauty of Dream Team Weekender – there are no budget limitations so you can pick any player available from this weekend’s fixtures, with Chelsea v Arsenal the pick of the bunch.

Weekender is the best new fantasy football game around and it’s absolutely free to enter.

Morata and Chelsea welcome arch rivals Arsenal to Stamford Bridge

Morata and Chelsea welcome arch rivals Arsenal to Stamford Bridge

Just select seven players from across the Saturday and Sunday Premier League fixtures for your chance to bag that tasty £5k prize.

Flopped last week? It doesn’t matter, as Weekender allows you to start afresh every single weekend. Let the games begin – sign up to play here!