Cristiano Ronaldo seems to 'carry' Portugal more than Lionel Messi does Argentina

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Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are experiencing mixed fortunes on the international stage right now.

The former has just entered his latest Copa America campaign and has made a nightmarish start on his quest to win a first trophy with Argentina's senior team.

Messi could do little as his country suffered a first loss to Colombia in over a decade and opened a Copa America tournament with defeat for the first time since 1979.

Upcoming games with Paraguay and Qatar should ensure that Messi and Argentina qualify from the group, but it doesn't bode well for their chances of going all the way.

On the other hand, Ronaldo is seriously loving life in a Portugal shirt and bagged his second piece of silverware with his country in the UEFA Nations League.

Messi vs Ronaldo internationally

The Juventus star scored a spectacular hat-trick against Switzerland - just less than a year after his famous Spain treble - and captain his nation to victory in the final.

Bearing all of this in mind, fans are starting to see the Messi vs Ronaldo debate as something of a no-brainer when only international football is considered.

However, debate will continue to rage as which player has to carry their country more, with both Portugal and Argentina possessing talent but falling short of the very top nations.

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Ronaldo carries Portugal more

You would immediately think Argentina when you consider their reliance on Messi with their style of football as well as the national team's deep-rooted problems.

A few statistics might change the mind of the majority, though, and it all centres around the currency on which Ronaldo and Messi are largely judged - goals.

While Messi has the luxury of playing with a quad which has scored 72 goals, Ronaldo is standing alongside players with just 33 strikes combined. Check out the graphic down below:

In other words, it seems Ronaldo has to 'carry' Portugal far more than Messi does with Argentina.

Messi is sharing the pitch with Sergio Aguero and Angel di Maria, who have 59 goals alone, and it could've been even better if Gonzalo Higuain hadn't retired from international football.

What about Portugal? Well, staggeringly, one of their next top-scorers is actually a defender, with Pepe having totalled up seven goals in his international career.

Joao Moutinho also shares the same total, but that languishes a massive 81 goals behind those amassed by Ronaldo himself. Remarkable numbers. 

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Your next best bet is Goncalo Guedes - who has scored four times in 17 caps - but he's astonishingly the only other forward with a goal for his country.

So, there you have it, while Messi has a number of internationally-established forwards around him, Ronaldo is doing the business with a deputy striker of... Pepe.

Who do you think carries their country more - Ronaldo or Messi? Have your say in the comments section below.

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