Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have both concluded their 2021/22 seasons.
Messi rounded off his first club campaign away from Barcelona by notching an assist in Paris Saint-Germain’s 5-0 win over Metz on Saturday, before proceeding to get his hands on the Ligue 1 trophy.
A huge year for Ronaldo and Messi
And now that the two Ballon d’Or winners have drawn a line under their 2021/22 campaigns, we can make the logical step of comparing exactly how they’ve performed over the past nine months.
The Ronaldo vs Messi debate is a never-ending conversation that we are by no means above and would never pretend to be for a second because, let’s be honest here, it’s just so darn fun.
And with both superstars having taken a major, unexpected step in their careers last summer, there’s arguably never been a more fascinating time to contrast their performances over the course of a club season.
Messi vs Ronaldo in 2021/22
The winner? Well, we’ll allow you to draw your own conclusions as we give your the numerical rundown on everything from goals to assists and trophies to Man of the Match awards down below:
Cristiano Ronaldo 24-11 Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi 14-3 Cristiano Ronaldo
Lionel Messi 1-0 Cristiano Ronaldo
Average match rating
Lionel Messi 7.75-7.32 Cristiano Ronaldo
Man of the Match awards
Cristiano Ronaldo 7-7 Lionel Messi
Cristiano Ronaldo 134.3-261.0 Lionel Messi
Cristiano Ronaldo 2-0 Lionel Messi
Goals from outside the box
Cristiano Ronaldo 5-4 Lionel Messi
Cristiano Ronaldo 1-0 Lionel Messi
Ronaldo has the edge
Look, make of that what you will, but our two cents is that Ronaldo has enjoyed the superior season.
The United star comes out on top for goals, hat-tricks, long-range goals, free-kick goals, minutes-per-goal ratio and even holds his own when it comes to Man of the Match awards.
Yes, Messi won more trophies, but a single piece of silverware with PSG is frankly below average and Ronaldo was having to contend with the worst Red Devils side of the Premier League era.
And while, yes, Messi comes out on top for assists, we can’t really allow that to tip the balance in his favour when that simply has more to do with his playing position than anything else.
Plus, occupying more of a playmaking role makes it easier to produce a higher match rating on WhoScored as you can tick more statistical boxes in anything from passes to through balls to plain old touches.
But does that mean Messi has had a poor season? Absolutely not, because lest we forget that the entire context of this debate revolves around two of the greatest sportspeople to have ever lived.
So, no matter how you read into the statistics, the true moral of the story is that we should all just revel in the fact that we’ve had the privilege of watching yet another season of Messi and Ronaldo.