Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have all punished Premier League clubs over the years.
Despite Messi having never played in England’s top-flight, the Paris Saint-Germain star has still strutted his stuff against opposition from across the Channel during Champions League ties.
Messi and Ronaldo vs English clubs
However, despite both Ballon d’Or winners having proven themselves against the best that the Premier League has had to offer, some fans still doubt that Messi would cut it on English shores.
Everyone is entitled to their opinion, of course, but you can’t help feeling that the data and history books somewhat refute the idea that Messi wouldn’t be able to perform in the Premier League.
Villarreal 0-2 Man Utd Match Reaction (Football Terrace)
While, yes, you couldn’t possibly recreate the division completely without actually playing in it, facing teams from said division – often on their own turf – is pretty much as close as you can get.
So, bearing all of this in mind, we wanted to do some digging on the back of Messi’s latest outing against Premier League opposition, albeit a largely fruitless one, at Manchester City this week.
Ronaldo and Messi vs Prem ‘big six’
Using data collected by William Hill before the PSG vs City game and duly updating it to include Wednesday’s game, we have compared Messi and Ronaldo’s statistics against the ‘big six’ clubs.
It’s a fascinating premise, but the results are even more intriguing, so be sure to see how Messi gets the better of his eternal rival by checking out their data against the Premier League bigwigs below:
Record against Premier League ‘big six’ clubs
Games: Ronaldo 82-36 Messi
Goals: Ronaldo 29-27 Messi
Assists: Ronaldo 10-6 Messi
Goal involvements per game: Ronaldo 0.48-0.92 Messi
Record against Arsenal
Games: Ronaldo 15-6 Messi
Goals: Ronaldo 6-9 Messi
Assists: Ronaldo 1-1 Messi
Goal involvements per game: Ronaldo 0.47-1.67 Messi
Record against Chelsea
Games: Ronaldo 15-10 Messi
Goals: Ronaldo 1-3 Messi
Assists: Ronaldo 2-3 Messi
Goal involvements per game: Ronaldo 0.20-0.60 Messi
Record against Liverpool
Games: Ronaldo 13-4 Messi
Goals: Ronaldo 3-2 Messi
Assists: Ronaldo 1-0 Messi
Goal involvements per game: Ronaldo 0.31-0.50- Messi
Record against Manchester City
Games: Ronaldo 15-8 Messi
Goals: Ronaldo 5-7 Messi
Assists: Ronaldo 2-2 Messi
Goal involvements per game: Ronaldo 0.47-1.12 Messi
Record against Manchester United
Games: Ronaldo 5-6 Messi
Goals: Ronaldo 3-4 Messi
Assists: Ronaldo 0-0 Messi
Goal involvements per game: Ronaldo 0.60-0.67 Messi
Record against Tottenham Hotspur
Games: Ronaldo 19-2 Messi
Goals: Ronaldo 11-2 Messi
Assists: Ronaldo 4-0 Messi
Goal involvements per game: Ronaldo 0.79-1.00 Messi
Messi blows Ronaldo out of the water
It’s simple: Messi’s statistics blow Ronaldo’s out of the water.
While, yes, Ronaldo might have amassed more goals and assists overall, we’ve got to bear in mind that he did so across 46 more games than Messi, so it’s remarkable that the tallies are so close.
And that’s reflected in the goal-involvement-per-game ratios because Messi averages 0.92 goals or assists against the Premier League ‘big six’ each time whereas Ronaldo is miles behind on 0.48.
Yes, you’ve got to add the caveat that Ronaldo had to rack up many of these games when he was just finding his feet as a professional player, but Messi’s convincing advantage doesn’t end there.
That’s because Messi has flat-out rattled more goals past City, Arsenal, Chelsea and United, while also producing a superior goal involvement rate than Ronaldo against every single one of the clubs.
All this isn’t to slight Ronaldo because his stellar record speaks for itself, but allow it turn down the volume on claims that Messi wouldn’t cut it in the Premier League.