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Cristiano Ronaldo vs Lionel Messi: Did the Portuguese really conquer Spain?

  • It remains to be seen who really was the best player in La Liga in the last nine years.
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Modified 20 Dec 2019, 16:45 IST

La Liga 2017-18 - Real Madrid vs FC Barcelona
Ronaldo vs Messi

Cristiano Ronaldo recently moved to Juventus, ending his nine-year stint in Spain. It will be an understatement to say that his spell at the Spanish capital was phenomenally good. The Portuguese won numerous trophies, four Ballon d'Ors and scored tons of goals to make his stay in Spain truly astonishing.

While there is no denying the fact that Ronaldo had an unbelievable spell at Real Madrid, was he really the best player in Spain? Did Ronaldo actually conquer Spain or was he in Lionel Messi's shadow?

Ronaldo might be the greatest player to ever play for Los Blancos but it remains to be seen whether he outshone his arch rival from Argentina. He did wonders for Real Madrid in the Champions League, but when talking about domestic performances in Spain things look slightly different for the Portuguese number 7 with respect to Messi.

Here's a comparative analysis of the achievements of the two men in Spain:

La Liga titles

2018 La Liga Football FC Barcelona v Real Sociedad May 20th
2018 La Liga Champions

Since Ronaldo joined Real Madrid from Manchester United, the Portuguese has been involved in nine seasons for Los Blancos. In those nine seasons, Real Madrid won the trophy twice whereas Barcelona claimed the title on six occasions and Atletico Madrid won once.

So by a simple statistical look, we get to know that while Ronaldo has two La Liga titles, his counterpart Messi has won the trophy six times since 2009. The difference is startling but so has been Messi's dominance in Spain.

Messi 1-0 Ronaldo

Copa del Rey titles

Leo ME
Leo Messi

What FA Cup is to England, Copa del Rey is to Spain. Since Ronaldo's £80 million move to Real Madrid from Manchester United, the star winger has won the trophy twice with Real Madrid. On the other hand, Messi has been involved in five Copa del Rey winning teams.

The difference is more than evident here. While Real might have had dominance in UCL, Barcelona hold the edge in domestic competitions.

Messi and Ronaldo have been an integral part of their clubs, playing their respective roles to the T in several trophy-winning campaigns. But with five titles to Ronaldo's two, Messi takes the cake here.

Messi 2-0 Ronaldo

Goals (domestic)

Real Madrid
Real Madrid's Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo

One thing common between Ronaldo and Messi is their habit of scoring a massive amount of goals. Since Ronaldo's move to Real Madrid, the former United winger has scored 311 goals in 292 La Liga appearances, for more than 1 goal per match. Not many players can boast a record like that.

But the Barcelona man is right up there with an equally impressive record of 329 goals in 309 appearances since Ronaldo moved to Spain.

While their record in La Liga is somewhat equally good, their stats in Copa del Rey are a bit inclined towards the Argentine. Messi has played 52 times in Spain's cup competition since 2009, scoring 39 goals. His Portuguese rival meanwhile has notched up 22 goals in 30 outings for Los Blancos.

Ronaldo is known for his goal-scoring exploits, but when it comes to domestic competitions the Barcelona number 10 is equally as impressive. And the La Liga records speak for these legends too, as the first two positions in the all-time leading goal scorers list in La Liga history belong to Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

The world will miss one hell of a rivalry now that Ronaldo is gone.

Messi 3-1 Ronaldo

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Published 13 Jul 2018, 17:17 IST
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