Cristiano Ronaldo vs Lionel Messi: Graphic compares Barcelona and Juventus star's goals

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Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have been plundering records all season long.

It feels like a week never goes by without the serial Ballon d'Or winners overhauling some sort of record, feat or statistic that has remained untouched for umpteen decades.

But with Messi and Ronaldo now entering the endgame of their star-studded careers, some of the most impressive achievements from their time in the beautiful game are starting to roll in.

Messi and Ronaldo make history

Unless you're a statistician at the Czech Football Federation, you're probably declaring Ronaldo as the greatest goalscorer in history after surpassing Josef Bican's former world-record tally of 759.

And similarly, barring the mathematicians at Santos, we can all agree that Messi has inherited the finest goalscoring tally for a single club from Pele for his extraordinary exploits at Barcelona.

However, even if you're splitting hairs about the exact goal tallies of the last century, you can't ignore the fact that Messi and Ronaldo are two of the greatest goalscorers to ever grace the sport.

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Hundreds of career goals

And although the Barca and Juventus stars might have that incredible status in common, what makes their rivalry so fascinating is that they've achieved it with markedly different approaches.

While Messi is world-renowned for his mazy runs and curved left-footed finishes, Ronaldo has made a living from rifled fight-footed effort and headers that defy the laws of gravity.

Don't get me wrong, we're generalising here, because Messi and Ronaldo are more than capable of scoring goals for which the other is most famous, but we're spot on in terms of the broad strokes.

Or so you'd think... 

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If you're wondering why we've inserted such a dramatic pause in the middle of the article other than gripping editorial genius, it's because a fascinating comparison of Ronaldo and Messi's goals have emerged.

Comparison of Messi and Ronaldo's goals

Those familiar with the work of Twitter user @Gegenpressing91 will know that their graphics of goals, assists and more make for brilliant viewing and their latest comparison is no different.

That's because they've compiled 'goal maps' that locate the first touch of each player's dribbling for all their career goals - barring Messi's strikes for Argentina - if they made one before shooting.

In other words, it provides an intriguing insight into the type of moves and circumstances from which Messi and Ronaldo score their goals, so be sure to check out the graphics down below:

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Clear and key difference

The elephant in the room here is that Ronaldo has a much busier collection of yellow circles in the penalty area, whereas many of Messi's goals started from moves much nearer the halfway line.

While that might make you think that Messi is automatically a more skilled and varied goalscorer, that's not necessarily the case.

At the end of the day, whether a goal is scored in the six-yard box or courtesy of a 40-yard dribble, the result is exactly the same give or take the hype on social media.

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So, yes, allow the graphics to highlight the indisputable contrasts in Ronaldo and Messi's goal-scoring tropes, but never forget that it illustrates both players' brilliance, just in different ways.

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