Between 2010 and 2020, the pair of Ballon d’Or hoarders were simply too good and consistently averaged more than a goal per game across all competitions.
In league action, the duo were simply outrageous.
From 2010 to 2020, Messi or Ronaldo finished with the most goals scored in Europe’s top five leagues in 10 of the 11 calendar years.
Yeah, it’s just absolutely ludicrous and part of the reason why they’re viewed by many as the two greatest footballers in history.
You’ll find some of Messi and Ronaldo’s insane league stats in our list below, which features the top scorer from the top quintet of divisions in every single completed year of the 21st century thus far.
All stats below have been sourced from the ever-reliable Transfermarkt.
2000 | Gabriel Batistuta (Fiorentina/AS Roma)
Games: 28 | Goals: 26
2001 | Hernan Crespo (Lazio)
Games: 33 | Goals: 30
2002 | Alan Shearer (Newcastle United)
Games: 38 | Goals: 27
2003 | Ronaldo Nazario (Real Madrid)
Games: 38 | Goals: 32
2004 | Thierry Henry (Arsenal)
Games: 39 | Goals: 34
2005 | Luca Toni (Palermo/Fiorentina)
Games: 37 | Goals: 31
2006 | Luca Toni (Fiorentina)
Games: 36 | Goals: 24
2007 | Ruud van Nistelrooy (Real Madrid)
Games: 35 | Goals: 24
2008 | Samuel Eto’o (Barcelona)
Games: 29 | Goals: 29
2009 | David Villa (Valencia)
Games: 31 | Goals: 28
2010 | Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
Games: 36 | Goals: 42
2011 | Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)
Games: 34 | Goals: 43
2012 | Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
Games: 38 | Goals: 59
2013 | Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)
Games: 33 | Goals: 38
2014 | Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)
Games: 28 | Goals: 38
2015 | Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)
Games: 38 | Goals: 37
2016 | Luis Suarez (Barcelona)
Games: 35 | Goals: 37
2017 | Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
Games: 38 | Goals: 40
2018 | Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid/Juventus)
Games: 34 | Goals: 36
2019 | Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
Games: 32 | Goals: 34
2020 | Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus)
Games: 29 | Goals: 33
2021 | Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)
Games: 34 | Goals: 43
So, it’s Manchester United‘s Ronaldo who is the dominant figure, the Portuguese superstar claiming top spot in six completed years, with Messi having to settle for four gold medals.
The only other player to feature on the list more than once is Toni, which is a stern reminder of how good he was in his pomp.
With Palermo, Fiorentina, Bayern Munich and Verona, the giant Italian striker was an absolute menace in front of goal and he actually won the European Golden Shoe in 2005/06 after scoring 31 goals in 38 Serie A games.