Video shows how Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo's stats changed in Spanish football

FBL-BALLON-DOR-RONALDO-MESSI-COMBO

For nine years, football fans had the pleasure of seeing Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi play against one another every season.

It was almost too perfect for the best two players in the world to play for Barcelona and Real Madrid respectively, adding a new layer of grandeur to El Clasico.

Of course, Messi has spent the entirety of his senior club career in Spanish football, while the same can't be said for his rival for the claim as greatest-of-all-time.

Ronaldo spent his youth career with Sporting Lisbon, before transitioning into the world-class footballer we know today over six years at Manchester United.

He then moved on once again last summer, embarking on a quest to win the Champions League for a third European club upon signing for Juventus.

Ronaldo and Messi in Spain

As a result, fans have been without a domestic Messi vs Ronaldo clash for the first time since 2008-09 and even then, they faced off in that year's Champions League final.

And although we could see another lucrative European match between the two, that nine-year period in Spain offers the most direct comparison between both players.

They were competing against the same opposition, starred for teams with almost equal quality and it removes the years where Ronaldo played more as a midfielder at Old Trafford.

Real Madrid v Barcelona - La Liga

Live graphic compares the two

And thanks to a live graphic originally simulated by 'FDOR', it has been possible to track how Ronaldo and Messi compared over their time in Spain.

The video documents the number of appearances, goals, assists, La Liga title wins and Champions League success between the 2009-10 and 2017-18 campaigns.

It makes for truly fascinating viewing - so watch the full clip down below:

In truth, it looks a whole lot better for Messi. 

Despite the goal-scoring charts becoming incredibly close over the final few seasons, the Barcelona superstar holds an advantage from 2009 and never lets it slip while Ronaldo is also in Spain.

Ronaldo actually takes the lead in terms of assists during the 2009-10 campaign, but loses his hold on creative dominance very quickly and finishes more than 40 behind his rival.

Messi also romps to victory in terms of winning the league, collecting six medals compared to Ronaldo's two. 

FC Barcelona v Real Betis Balompie - La Liga

But it will come as no surprise that the roles reverse when we look at Europe. Real's late flurry under Zinedine Zidane allows Ronaldo to beat Messi in terms of Champions League wins by a score of 4-2.

Another observation to draw is that Ronaldo actually finishes with more goals than appearances, while the same can't be said for Messi.

Ultimately, the graphic can be interpreted in any number of ways but it seems that Messi will have the edge every single time.

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

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