Lionel Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo: Stats reveal Barcelona star's dominance since 2010

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Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are coming to the end of their 2019/20 campaigns.

Football fans around the world need to treasure the Barcelona and Juventus superstars more than ever as they creep deeper and deeper into their thirties, meaning retirement is moving ever closer.

It really is a case of enjoy them while you can, not because they're necessarily just a few months away from hanging up their boots, but seeing them on a weekly basis is truly something to behold.

Messi vs Ronaldo in 2019/20

And just because their birthday cakes have more candles than ever, it doesn't mean that they're showing any sign of slowing down with both Ronaldo and Messi enjoying superb seasons.

Well, sure, Messi has gone 2019/20 without a trophy, but he's made individual history by becoming only the second player to surpass 20 goals and 20 assists in a top European league season.

Meanwhile, Ronaldo came within a whisker of the Serie A Golden Boot and European Golden Shoe with a superb record of 31 strikes at the age of 35.

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Who wins the stats battle?

Naturally, the league season ending means that Ronaldo and Messi are going to be compared and we're ahead of the game, having already pitted their 2019/20 statistics up against each other.

But there's a more long-term trend that we're interested in here because Messi and Ronaldo's average match ratings have now been calculated with the closing of Serie A and La Liga.

WhoScored.com use a diverse range of defensive, offensive and passing data-sets to calculate ratings out of 10 for each player in every game, which is ultimately averaged out across the term. 

What does that mean in terms of Messi and Ronaldo? Well, the Barca legend emerged from 2019/20 with a score of 8.7, which is comfortably ahead of the 7.8 that his rival produced. 

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Messi's dominance since 2010

That's all well and good, but what's most notable is the fact Messi has been able to get the better of Ronaldo statistically for nine - yes, nine - of the last ten seasons. Check out the data down below:

2010/11

Lionel Messi - 8.8

Cristiano Ronaldo - 8.3

2011/12

Lionel Messi - 8.9

Cristiano Ronaldo - 8.3

2012/13

Lionel Messi - 8.8

Cristiano Ronaldo - 8.2

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2013/14

Lionel Messi - 8.3

Cristiano Ronaldo - 8.3

2014/15

Lionel Messi - 8.8

Cristiano Ronaldo - 8.5

2015/16

Lionel Messi - 8.5

Cristiano Ronaldo - 8.0

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2016/17

Lionel Messi - 8.5

Cristiano Ronaldo - 7.6

2017/18

Lionel Messi - 8.7

Cristiano Ronaldo - 7.9

2018/19

Lionel Messi - 8.5

Cristiano Ronaldo - 7.7

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2019/20

Lionel Messi - 8.7

Cristiano Ronaldo - 7.8

Final score: Lionel Messi 9.5 - 0.5 Cristiano Ronaldo

GIVEMESPORT's Kobe Tong says

For me, there couldn't be any clearer proof that Messi is the superior player in the GOAT debate.

And look, I'll be the first person to disclaim that stats aren't everything and the whitewashed scoreline of 9.5-0.5 shouldn't lead people to think that Ronaldo shouldn't even be in the conversation.

Besides, we're talking about the odd decimal place during some of these seasons and don't think it's lost on me that Ronaldo's ratings are still better than most of the players on the planet. 

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But it just goes to reiterate that Messi is the most complete footballer we've ever seen, ticking the boxes with everything from his finishing, dribbling, passing and even his defensive data-sets.

Ronaldo might be the ultimate footballing machine, but it's a downright fallacy that that somehow makes him a more rounded footballer than Messi.

He is a machine, after all, so he more than most will understand what the calculators and data have discovered over the last decade.  

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