Comparing Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo's calendar year statistics in 2018

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With victory over Sampdoria, Cristiano Ronaldo concluded his sensational 2018 in football.

Juventus ended the calendar year with yet another victory, extending their lead in the Serie A standings and allowing Ronaldo to add another two goals to his tally.

The Portuguese has enjoyed a fantastic start to life at Juventus and is currently on a mission to win the Champions League at a third European club.

However, Ronaldo won't have it easy and Barcelona will also consider themselves one of the biggest contenders to go all the way this season.

They are, of course, spearheaded by the mercurial Lionel Messi who is also putting his feet up after a successful 2018.

Messi vs Ronaldo

The Blaugrana closed out their calendar year with a 2-0 victory over Celta Vigo and will return to action on January 6 when they make the journey to Getafe.

It will be incredibly interesting to observe how both Ronaldo and Messi fare in 2019, but with both players done and dusted for the year, it marks the perfect opportunity to compare their achievements.

The two legends are regularly contrasted with fans on either side of the argument holding incredibly passionate views about who's the best right now and even the greatest of all-time.

Real Madrid v Barcelona - La Liga

Comparing Messi and Ronaldo in 2018

That argument aside, though, and despite the fact Luka Modric won the Ballon d'Or, was it Ronaldo or Messi who enjoyed the superior 2018?

It's certainly not an easy question but statistics are the simplest way to decide on a winner and the numbers are nail-bitingly close.

The website Messivsronaldo.net has been crunching the numbers for years and after the Sampdoria game on Saturday, they've finalised it's 2018 comparison of the two players.

You can take a look at the final breakdown here (Messi in yellow and Ronaldo in blue):

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The winner? Messi and pretty much across the board.

Despite Ronaldo ending the calendar year with an impressive brace, he failed to reach 50 goals for the first time since 2010 and finished two strikes behind Messi.

Admittedly, Messi was able to achieve the same feat over a greater number of appearances, but just a single game in difference makes it rather trivial.

Messi also comes out on top when it comes to assists, but Ronaldo takes the victory when tallying goals on the international stage.

One thing that isn't addressed by the website, however, is the number of titles won in 2018 and the Barcelona man still tops the podium in that department.

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Ronaldo 'only' had the Champions League to show for his efforts, while his rival bagged the La Liga title, Copa del Rey and the Spanish Super Cup to boot.

So, say what you like about the Ballon d'Or voting and personal preference, it seems Messi is the real winner in 2018. Sorry, Cristiano.

Who do you think had the better 2018 - Ronaldo or Messi? Have your say in the comments section below.

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