If wasn’t apparent before, the 2011/12 campaign has been the one that saw Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo move into a league of their own and join the greats of the game.
Between the pair of them, no record is safe. Ronaldo became the fastest player to score 100 goals in La Liga, reaching the landmark in a paltry 92 games, eclipsing Real Madrid legend Ferenc Puskas in the process.
The former Manchester United forward didn’t stop there; his hat-trick against Atletico Madrid on Wednesday meant he became the first player to notch 40 goals in consecutive seasons in Europe’s top four leagues.
Just three days before Ronaldo broke the 100-goal mark, Messi took centre stage by breaking Barcelona’s all-time goal-scoring record with a sublime hat-trick against Granada.
The Argentinian maestro has also broken the record for most goals in a single season in the Champions League, and became the first player to score five goals in a single Champions League game against Bayer Leverkusen in March.
Much of the praise this season has been directed at Messi and much of the talk has centred around whether he can stake a claim to the unofficial title of 'the greatest of all time'.
However it is Ronaldo’s Madrid who lead the title race by four points ahead of a mouth-watering El Clasico later this month, while the Portuguese international has scored more league goals this season than his illustrious rival.
So who do the numbers suggest is the best player out of the pair across all competitions? GMF brings you all the stats you need to know in order to make your mind up on the question on everybody’s lips; who is better, Ronaldo or Messi?
Hat-tricks: Ronaldo - 7 Messi - 6
Goals (Games): Ronaldo - 40 (32) Messi - 39 (31)
Assists: Ronaldo - 11 Messi - 14
Average shots/game: Ronaldo - 6.9 Messi - 5.5
Pass % completion: Ronaldo - 80.9% Messi - 84.1%
Key Passes/game: Ronaldo - 1.6 Messi - 2.6
Successful dribbles/game: Ronaldo - 1.8 Messi - 4.8
Average dispossessed/game: Ronaldo - 1.9 Messi - 2.7
Average passes/game: Ronaldo - 37.6 Messi - 64.9
Accurate through balls/game: Ronaldo - 0.5 Messi - 1.5
% of team’s goals scored: Ronaldo 41.6 Messi - 36.6
Penalties scored: Ronaldo - 11 Messi - 5
Goals: Ronaldo - 8 Messi - 14
Assists: Ronaldo - 2 Messi - 4
MOM awards: Ronaldo - 3 Messi - 8
Shots per Game: Ronaldo - 7.4 Messi - 7.1
Attempts on target: Ronaldo - 24 Messi - 34
Dribbles per match: Ronaldo - 2.9 Messi - 3.9
Accurate long balls/game: Ronaldo - 0.8 Messi - 1.7
Accurate through balls/game: Ronaldo - 0.4 Messi - 1.4
Fouls against: Ronaldo - 14 Messi - 23
Goals in all competitions: Ronaldo - 52 Messi - 61
Hat-tricks: Ronaldo - 7 Messi - 8
International goals (games) Ronaldo - 6(7) Messi - 5(7)
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