No one has any doubt on the fact that Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are the two biggest names in the history of football. However, fans are still divided on who is the better player between both of them.
It was recently revealed that Cristiano Ronaldo is the undoubted king of goal-scoring in International Football – he has scored 88 goals for Portugal while Messi has scored only 67 times for Argentina.
When one takes away the goals scored in international friendlies, the difference becomes all the more obvious – Ronaldo still boasts of 71 goals while Messi has netted only 35 times in competitive international assignments.
The above data looks like ample evidence to call the Juventus superstar the G.O.A.T. in international football – but does it actually paint the whole picture?
GiveMeSport reports that 56 of Messi’s 67 international goals (84%) have been scored against FIFA’s top 50 ranked nations, while Cristiano Ronaldo has scored only 35 of his 88 goals (35%) against teams inside the top 50.
Now, that brings out a whole new perspective!
Based on the above-mentioned data, fans of the Barcelona and Argentine talisman can easily claim that their man is more effective against tougher opposition – as indicated by the FIFA top 50 rankings.
Both players will continue to remain as the subjects of a G.O.A.T debate that will clearly go on even years after retirement, but as of now, it should be safe to assume that Lionel Messi is your man when it comes to facing stronger teams in International Football.