Lionel Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo: International careers compared by fan's viral tweet

  • Kobe Tong

The Lionel Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo debate is alive and kicking right now.

Messi blows the debate wide open

Granted, you’d be hard pressed to find a single day where some corner of the internet isn’t bounding about the conversation, but rest assured that this summer has stoked the flames of debate.

And that’s because the argument that Ronaldo stands above Messi by way of having won a major international trophy no longer holds weight after Argentina’s triumph at Copa America 2021.

After four moments of finals heartbreak for Messi across his career, he finally led his nation to victory when it mattered most and ensured Argentina were crowned champions of South America.

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Who has the better international career?

With Angel Di Maria’s first-half goal against Brazil at the Maracana going unanswered, Messi officially drew level with Ronaldo when it comes to major international trophies.

And while Copa America glory might not get everybody weak at the knees, lest we forget that Messi and co had to overcome Chile, Uruguay, Colombia and Brazil before they could claim the prize.

As such, there’s good reason to think that we need to frame the entire Ronaldo vs Messi debate a little differently because one side of the argument has seen their go-to trump card nullified.

It’s a fresh twist in the tale that makes the time ripe to reassess how Messi and Ronaldo’s respective careers with Argentina and Portugal stack up against one another.


Football fan’s viral tweet

And we might just have found a fascinating piece of shorthand for that arm of the conversation because a tweet comparing the pair’s international careers has gone viral this week.

Twitter user @FutbolFax has amassed more than 5,000 retweets and 22,000 ‘likes’ at the time of writing for a graphic showcasing Ronaldo and Messi’s achievement in the international game.

The images focuses in on the two Ballon d’Or winners’ awards and medals when it comes to major competitions, which, at the end of the day, are what matter most when competing for your nation.

And let’s just say that the difference between the two is clear to see, so be sure to check out the tweet and graphics down below:


If you’re thinking that one or two gongs and plaques have been left out there, fear not because @FutbolFax proceeded to expand the images with Ronaldo duly earning a bit more recognition.


A win for Messi?

Nevertheless, it really goes to show that Messi is head and shoulders above his rival when it comes to the individual accolades and feats that he’s been able to amass in international tournaments.

Does that mean that Messi is instantly a better international player? Not at all, because we can’t escape the fact that Ronaldo just happens to have a world record-equalling 109 goals for Portugal.



And there are many fans who would argue that Ronaldo’s lack of a ‘Player of the Tournament’ award shouldn’t hold him back in this area of the debate and that’s a perfectly legitimate opinion to have.

So, be sure to take the tweet with a pinch of salt, but hold fire before you think about pouring the whole grinder over it because make no mistake that it shows just how much Messi thrives on the big stage.

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