Comparing Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi's records in major finals after Juventus win

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Cristiano Ronaldo won his first trophy with Juventus on Wednesday night.

Scoring the winner goal as if nothing less was expected, the legendary forward proved the difference as Juventus collected their fourth Supercoppa Italiana in the last seven years.

It won't be one of the most fondly remembered honours of Ronaldo's illustrious career but it's a significant moment having also won silverware with Manchester United and Real Madrid.

His trophy cabinet now boasts accolades from three of Europe's biggest clubs and he will be hoping to add the Serie A title to his collection in the coming months.

And considering Ronaldo is so often tied to the GOAT (greatest-of-all-time) debate, the number of cups he wins throughout his career will be a crucial statistic going forward.

Ronaldo-Messi debate

It also happens to one of the areas in which he is compared to Lionel Messi, the fellow great with whom he shares this era and is so regularly pitted against.

Both players will go down in the history books but it doesn't stop football fans from ranking the pair, using all manner of statistics to gain an upper hand in the argument.

Although goals and assists are certainly the mark of individual brilliance, performances in the most important games and delivering silverware is arguably the most important in terms of history.

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Records in major finals

As a result, Ronaldo's latest success in a major final marks a convenient juncture at which the duo can be contrasted on the biggest stage.

Ronaldo is often considered the player who delivers the most during major final but is that really the case when you crunch the numbers?

Well, Ronaldo has managed to score 19 goals and provide two assists during his 27 finals, making for a ratio of 0.77 goal contributions per game.

On the other hand, Messi boasts 28 goals and 14 assists across his 33 finals, leaving him with a superior ratio of 1.27 contributions.

What's more, across club competitions, Messi has a superior win rate of 80% compared to the 70% on Ronaldo's current record.

Throw in international finals, however, and Ronaldo does gain a marginal advantage over his rival who has collected a runners-up medal at three Copa America tournaments and the World Cup. 

So, it's incredibly tight, but you have to give Messi the victory at this stage with a greater individual contribution and a slightly superior win rate with his club.

That being said, football fans will be hoping for another half-decade with the mercurial duo at the very least and the numbers could change drastically before they retire.

And no matter how the statistics compare, they've collected a trophy collection that would put most football clubs to shame.

Who do you think is the greatest - Messi or Ronaldo? Have your say in the comments section below.

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