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Lionel Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo - season by season comparison of their goal scoring records

We compare Cristiano Ronaldo's and Lionel Messi's ludicrous goal-scoring records season by season!

Top 5 / Top 10 20 May 2017, 13:44 IST

Messi vs Ronaldo... Nothing divides opinion quite like the question – who is greater? While any attempt (even by a neutral) at praising Messi is seen as anti-Ronaldo it is the same case when some one says something pro-Ronaldo.. they automatically become anti-Messi. A brief glance at our comments section would stand as testamant to this very fact. 

While a lot of people claim that this is merely media “hype”, there is no getting around the fact that Lionel Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo is the defining rivalry of modern football. And the way modern football decides who is greater is by sheer weight of numbers. I’m not saying this is the right way to do it – indeed I’ve personally listed 5 reasons why either of Ronaldo or Messi could lay claim to the title of “Greatest of All Time” – but there is something non-arguable about the statistics these two notch up on a seasonal basis... especially when Ronaldo has just broken Jimmy Greaves record to become the all-time leading goal-scorer in the top 5 European Leagues.

Here then, we break down their goal-scoring records, season-by-season (starting only from Ronaldo’s first season at Real Madrid... a timeframe chosen mainly factoring in common sense). You be the judge as to who’s been better!

8. 2009-10

The first year. When Real Madrid signed Cristiano Ronaldo for nigh on 80 million Euros, even they would not have expected the kind of impact the Portuguese superstar would have on the league that was at the time, under the process of being completely taken over by Lionel Messi. 

The more established Messi, playing in the superior Guardiola-Barcelona side smashed in 14 more goals than his great rival, but did so have played 18 more games. Ronaldo’s incredible goals-to-games ratio was just the first little indicator as to what was to come. 

Messi and his Barcelona won La Liga with 99 points as against 96 for Real Madrid... while Inter Milan pulled off a quite remarkable victory in the UEFA Champions League. 

The Pichichi award (for La Liga’s top scorer) went to Lionel Messi (34), while the UEFA Champions League golden boot was also Messi’s (8)

Oh and the FIFA Ballon d’Or that year (2009)? – Lionel Messi


Lionel Messi: 47 in 53

Cristiano Ronaldo: 33 in 35

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