Lionel Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo: Who had the better stats in 2021?


The Cristiano Ronaldo vs Lionel Messi debate is done and dusted for 2021.

As we stride into the hope and promise of 2022, we can start to look back on the last 12 months where we once again got to witness two of the greatest players in history sharing the same era.

From Messi lifting the Copa America trophy to Ronaldo topping the scoring charts at Euro 2020, the two legends proved that age is just a number with world-class performances deep in their thirties.

Ronaldo vs Messi in 2021

However, judging which player enjoyed the better calendar year is actually more difficult than you’d think from looking at the Ballon d’Or rankings where Ronaldo finished all the way down in sixth.

In fact, Messi and Ronaldo’s complete statistics in 2021 are actually pretty close and perhaps suggest that the Manchester United star’s performances this year have been seriously underrated.

1 of 20

At what age did Messi join Barcelona?

Don’t believe us? Well, we decided to outline some of the most important metrics that you’d need to settle the Messi vs Ronaldo debate with in terms of last year in isolation.

Using data collected by MESSIVSRONALDO.APP, which we have corroborated on Transfermarkt where relevant, we can present to you Ronaldo and Messi’s most post important statistics in 2021.

Arsenal vs Man City Match Reaction (Football Terrace)

Comparing Ronaldo and Messi’s 2021 stats

So, let’s dive head first into the debate and get thinking about who enjoyed the better year by checking out Messi and Ronaldo’s 2021 statistics down below:

Total goals

Cristiano Ronaldo 47-43 Lionel Messi

Total assists

Lionel Messi 18-7 Cristiano Ronaldo

Club goals

Lionel Messi 34-34 Cristiano Ronaldo


Minutes-per-goal in club football

Lionel Messi 116-125 Cristiano Ronaldo

International goals

Cristiano Ronaldo 13-9 Lionel Messi

Champions League goals

Lionel Messi 7-6 Cristiano Ronaldo


Non-penalty goals

Lionel Messi 37-37 Cristiano Ronaldo

Penalty goals

Cristiano Ronaldo 10-6 Lionel Messi


Cristiano Ronaldo 2-1 Lionel Messi


Free-kick goals

Lionel Messi 5-0 Cristiano Ronaldo

Team trophies

Lionel Messi 2-1 Cristiano Ronaldo

Major individual trophies

Lionel Messi 5-2 Cristiano Ronaldo


Put some respect on Ronaldo’s 2021

Now, look, we’re not saying that Ronaldo had a better year than Messi, but did he deserve to finish above N’Golo Kante and Jorginho in the Ballon d’Or rankings at the very least? Damn right he did.

Ronaldo scored as many club goals as Messi with more strikes in international football and a bigger total overall, while also notching double the amount of hat-tricks to boot.

Naturally, having said that, Messi relied on fewer penalties, won more trophies and proved more prolific in the Champions League, but the moral of the story is that it wasn’t a whitewash either way.


So, while there’s good reason to think that Messi really was the world’s best male player in 2021, we can’t forget that Ronaldo wasn’t far behind because his achievements last year deserve more credit.



News Now - Sport News