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Lionel Messi has now scored more non-penalty goals than Cristiano Ronaldo

Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
Modified 22 Mar 2021

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have spent over a decade pushing each other to the limit, but the Argentinean has now edged ahead of the Portuguese in a particular criterion.

According to Give Me Sport, the Barcelona skipper has scored more non-penalty goals in his career than the Juventus star. Lionel Messi has achieved the feat having played a lot fewer games than Cristiano Ronaldo.

Lionel Messi has been in spectacular form since the turn of the year. The 33-year-old is spearheading Barcelona’s attempt to wrestle the La Liga title away from Atletico Madrid.

The six-time Ballon d’Or winner scored twice to help his team win 6-1 against Real Sociedad on Sunday. Messi overtook his bitter rival in the process.

Both of his Messi's goals were scored from open play, which helped him reach 636 non-penalty goals at the end of the game. That saw him surpass Cristiano Ronaldo, who has 635 goals in 1054 games for both club and country.

The Argentinean incidentally needed 144 fewer games than the Portuguese to register the record.

Interestingly, Lionel Messi averages a non-penalty goal every 117 minutes played, which is again better than his rival, who scores a non-penalty goal every 135 minutes of football played so far in his career.

Despite the Barcelona skipper’s dominance in the overall record, it is the Juventus forward who fares better on the international stage. Cristiano Ronaldo has 91 non-penalty goals for Portugal, scoring at the rate of one goal every 148 minutes.

In contrast, Lionel Messi has only 51 non-penalty goals for Argentina, averaging one goal in 213 minutes.


The Portuguese also trumps his nemesis in the UEFA Champions League, where Cristiano Ronaldo has 116 non-penalty goals compared to Messi's 104.

However, Messi has an average of 119 minutes per non-penalty goal, while Ronaldo manages one every 134 minutes.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi continue to inspire each other

Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo’s frustrations were compounded as Juventus succumbed to a 0-1 defeat to Benevento on Sunday and stayed 10 points behind Serie A leaders Inter Milan.

Meanwhile, Lionel Messi’s heroics mean that Barcelona are only four points behind Atletico Madrid, with 10 games to play.

However, the two superstars of modern football continue to inspire each other. Lionel Messi's achievement could work as a shot in the arm for Ronaldo, who will soon be looking to get even with his rival.

Published 22 Mar 2021, 22:57 IST
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