Lionel Messi scored his 100th Champions League goal as Barcelona beat Chelsea… but as he joins his rival Cristiano Ronaldo in three figures, who has the better record?
- Lionel Messi reached a century of Champions League goals against Chelsea
- Barcelona star scored twice as they beat the Blues 3-0 on Wednesday night
- It took Messi 123 matches to reach the milestone – Cristiano Ronaldo needed 137
- Both Messi and Ronaldo opened their Champions League accounts in 2005
So with both players now into three figures in Europe’s most prestigious competition, we compare how they got there.
How many matches did it take Messi and Ronaldo to reach 100 Champions League goals?
Messi’s second goal against Chelsea, in the 63rd-minute, brought up his century in the Champions League and it has taken him 123 matches to reach the milestone.
Ronaldo reached the landmark when he scored a hat-trick in the second leg of Real Madrid’s quarter-final with Bayern Munich on April 18, 2017 – that was his 137th game in the competition.
So it has taken Messi 14 matches fewer to achieve a century of Champions League goals. In terms of minutes, Messi needed 10,090 while Ronaldo required 11,848.
Messi also reached 100 goals from fewer shots – 524 attempts as opposed to the 790 needed by Ronaldo to get to his century.
And in an indication that because of their respective ages one day Messi might overtake Ronaldo as the all-time leading goalscorer in the Champions League, Messi was 30 years and 263 days when he scored his 100th goal, while Ronaldo was 32 years and 72 days.
How many different countries have they scored in?
Messi has scored in 16 different countries in the Champions League. Obviously the majority of these have come in Spain – 59 in all comprising 57 at the Nou Camp and two at the Bernabeu.
He has scored six in England, five in Scotland, four in Germany, four in Ukraine and three in each of France, Italy, Czech Republic and Cyprus.
The other countries Messi has found the net in are Switzerland, Portugal, Denmark, Greece, Belarus, Russia and Holland.
Of the 118 goals scored by Ronaldo (including the one in qualifying), nine came at Old Trafford – eight for United and one for Real there in 2013. 53 have been scored at the Bernabeu.
He has also scored in 16 different nations, with 14 coming in England, 12 in Germany, six in France, five in Turkey and five in Holland.
Ronaldo has also netted in Portugal, Ukraine, Russia, Switzerland, Italy, Denmark, Bulgaria, Sweden, Wales and Cyprus.
When did they score their first CL goal?
Messi opened his Champions League account in just his fifth outing in the competition for Barcelona, scoring in a 5-0 group stage victory over Panathinaikos on November 2, 2005. He was 18 at the time.
Ronaldo needed 27 Champions League appearances for Manchester United before he opened his account in the competition proper, scoring twice in that 7-1 quarter-final win over Roma at Old Trafford on April 10, 2007.
However, he had scored in the qualifying round prior to that – in United’s 3-0 win over Debrecen on August 9, 2005.
For the record, in the competition proper, 15 of Ronaldo’s current tally of 117 goals came during his time at Man United. Including the qualifying round appearances, his Champions League record stands at 118 in 154 matches.
Which team have they scored the most goals against?
Messi’s favourite opponents are Arsenal – he has scored nine goals in six matches against the Gunners in the champions League. Four of these came in one game during the 2009-10 campaign.
The Argentine has scored eight goals against both Milan and Celtic, seven against Bayer Leverkusen, and six against both Manchester City and Ajax.
In total, he has scored 20 goals against teams from the Premier League (nine vs Arsenal, six vs Manchester City, three vs Chelsea, two vs Manchester United).
Of Ronaldo’s 117 Champions League goals, the biggest victims have been Bayern Munich with nine scored against them in just six meetings.
Ronaldo has scored seven goals against each of Borussia Dortmund, Juventus, Ajax and Schalke, as well as six against each of APOEL Nicosia, Galatasaray and Malmo.
How many hat-tricks have they scored? What about four or five in a game?
In terms of oneupmanship between the pair, Messi can boast that he has scored five goals in a single Champions League game, unlike Ronaldo.
This quintet of goals came in Barcelona’s 7-1 drubbing of Leverkusen in the 2011-12 last-16, second leg.
Messi has also scored four times in a European game once – in the aforementioned match with Arsenal – and has netted five hat-tricks.
Ronaldo has scored four goals in a single Champions League fixture just the once – in their 8-0 win over Malmo in the 2015-16 group phase.
He has scored a hat-trick six times, so has trumped Messi on that one at least.
How many of the goals have come in semi-finals or finals?
We know that both Messi and Ronaldo are big game performers – but who has the most goals in the business end of the Champions League?
Messi has scored 40 goals in the knockout stages of the competition, including two in the final and four in semi-finals.
Ronaldo has scored 57 goals during the knockout stages and this includes four goals in the final and 13 in semi-finals.
So there’s little doubt that Ronaldo has delivered more when the pressure is really on.
How many times have they won the competition?
This is an easy one – both Messi and Ronaldo have four Champions League winners medals.
Messi picked up a medal when Barcelona beat Arsenal to win the 2006 final, but he hadn’t been involved beyond the last-16 that season after picking up a hamstring injury.
He was then part of Barca’s wins in 2009 and 2011, when they beat Manchester United in both finals, and 2015, when they defeated Juventus 3-1 in Berlin.
Ronaldo first won the competition with United back in 2008, scoring with a header in the Moscow final as they ultimately triumphed on penalties.
Following his world record transfer to Real Madrid, he won it again in 2014, scoring the fourth goal of a 4-1 extra time win over Atletico Madrid.
They defeated Atletico again to win in 2016 and he scored twice as Real became the first side to retain the Champions League by beating Juventus 4-1 in Cardiff last season.
What about assists for team-mates?
Goals are one thing, but how many times have Messi and Ronaldo set up a goal for one of their team-mates in Europe?
Messi has registered 34 assists in Champions League football, but Ronaldo trumps him with 39. Though he has, of course, played in 25 more matches.
Source: Daily mail