Following Cristiano Ronaldo‘s transfer to Saudi Pro League team Al-Nassr, the GOAT argument between him and Lionel Messi may finally have an answer.
When he led his adored country to World Cup victory in Qatar, Argentine legend Messi had already made a significant stride toward establishing his status as the greatest player of all time.
While all was going on, Portugal lost to Morocco in the quarterfinals, and Ronaldo only had a minor role.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner will earn a staggering £175 million annually while residing in the Gulf nation, but the enormous salary has a price.
Ronaldo is stepping out of the spotlight to begin his Saudi adventure after nearly two decades of exciting fans with his performances in Europe’s top divisions and the Champions League.
With all due respect, Al-Nassr is now in first place in their domestic league, but they lack the pedigree of Manchester United, Real Madrid, or Juventus.
The door has been left very much open for Lionel Messi to sweep in and take some of the records now held with pride by Cristiano Ronaldo as the 37-year-old effectively closes the chapter on his tenure in European football.
In light of this, the team behind messivronaldo.app has identified seven Ronaldo records that may be in danger as a result of his relocation to Saudi Arabia, and we’ve looked at them below.
With his move to Al-Nassr, which Cristiano Ronaldo records may Messi steal?
Goals in Europe’s Top 5 Leagues
Ronaldo: 495 goals
Messi: 487 goals
Messi previously had this record. The attacker for Paris Saint-Germain is nine goals away from winning it back again.
Total Goals for Club’s based in Europe’s Top 5 Leagues (All competitions)
Ronaldo: 696 goals
Messi: 695 goals
Barring an extraordinary turn of circumstances, Messi should have no trouble scoring the two PSG goals he needs before the 2022–23 season is over to surpass Ronaldo in this contest.
Total Senior Career Goals
Ronaldo: 819 goals
Messi: 793 goals
Total Club Goals
Ronaldo: 701 goals
Messi: 695 goals
The Saudi Pro League, which has 30 games, is eight games shorter than the Ligue 1 season, but Ronaldo’s goals in that league will still count here.
In the future, Messi is probably going to play in more cup games than Ronaldo. The difference presently stands at 26, although Messi might realistically surpass Ronaldo’s record by the time he hangs up his boots if he has a few more great seasons toward the end of his illustrious career.
Total National Team Goals
Ronaldo: 118 goals
Messi: 98 goals
In an international shirt, neither man has anything to prove.
After deciding to go to Saudi Arabia, it would not be shocking to see Ronaldo’s international career come to an end.
With his World Cup dream finally coming true last month, Messi could easily decide to end his spectacular run with Argentina.
At the age of 35, Messi still has a sizable deficit to close even if he stays with La Albiceleste and scores 20 more goals internationally. But, as we’ve recently discovered, you write off the Barcelona legend at your risk.
Total Champions League Assists
Ronaldo: 41 assists
Messi: 40 assists
Even if Kylian Mbappe weren’t one of the most productive attackers in the league and Messi wasn’t playing his club football with him, we’d still want him to break this record! Surely, it’s just a question of time.
Total Champions League Goals
Ronaldo: 140 goals
Messi: 129 goals
Ronaldo would feel the pain of this one!
When attempting to negotiate a move away from Manchester United last summer, Ronaldo made no secret of his ambition to play Champions League football for as long as possible.
In fact, it was reportedly just recently that he realized it wouldn’t be possible.
If Messi scores only 12 more goals in Europe’s top club competition, Ronaldo, who is currently the most prolific player in Champions League history, might fall behind.
Despite all the Champions League history Ronaldo has created over his remarkable career, he has undoubtedly played his final game in the league at this point.
For as long as he plays for PSG, Messi, on the other hand, is destined to be a fixture at Europe’s top table.