The football world last night got treated to arguably the biggest and certainly the most anticipated match of the UEFA Champion’s League 2020 group stage, between Cristiano Ronaldo‘s side Juventus and Lionel Messi‘s side Barcelona, and to say it was a nail biter would ironically be both true and false.
The Juventus/Barcelona clash ended in a resounding 3-0 Juventus victory, with Ronaldo netting 2 penalties and Weston McKennie’s bicycle kick, serving as the second goal of the night.
However, despite getting away with a 3-0 victory, the one man army on the Barcelona squad, Lionel Messi managed to keep Juventus on edge with his 11 goal attempts 7 of which were on target. It took an all time performance from the 42-year-old veteran keeper Gianluigi Buffon to stop Messi from taking over the game.
While Ronaldo’s side came out on top, securing the win with his two goals, it still fails to decisively put him atop the Argentinian superstar.
In their 36 meetings, Messi has 16 wins over Ronaldo’s 11. Messi has 22 goals to Ronaldo’s 21, and Messi has 12 assists to Ronaldo’s 1. Messi also has one more Ballon d’ or than Ronaldo with 6. While in La Liga from 09 to 17/18 season, Messi had 471 goals to Ronaldo’s 450.
Ronaldo, however, has experienced slightly more success with UEFA than Messi. He has 5 champion’s league wins to Messi’s four, and did it with two different clubs.
Ronaldo has finished as the top scorer in the Champions League on seven different occasions. Messi, while Messi has done it in six different seasons. In Ronaldo’s best season he came out with 17 goals while Messi’s best was 14.
Ronaldo also has 134 goals, to Messi’s 118, albeit Ronaldo has played 27 more games UCL games than Messi. In all, their head to head stat is pretty close, close enough for you to make an argument that either one of them is the goat, and be right.
For both players however it’s all love. After the game Ronaldo stated that despite the media frenzy, he has never considered Messi a rival. He noted that he respects Messi’s work ethic, and contribution to the game.
“I shared 12, 13 or 14 years of award ceremonies with him. I never saw him as a rival.
“He always tries to do what is best for his team and me too. I always got along very well with him.
“But we know that in football, for the press, for the show, a rivalry is sought, but I have always gotten along well with him. I see him as always.”
He also acknowledged that Barcelona maybe going through a rough patch, but they remain formidable.
“Barcelona are going through a difficult time, but it is still Barcelona,” Ronaldo said.