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Cristiano Ronaldo vs Lionel Messi: Who had the better stats in 2021/22?

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have both concluded their 2021/22 seasons.

Messi rounded off his first club campaign away from Barcelona by notching an assist in Paris Saint-Germain’s 5-0 win over Metz on Saturday, before proceeding to get his hands on the Ligue 1 trophy.

Meanwhile, Ronaldo experienced something of a low-key conclusion to the first year of his Manchester United comeback as he was ruled out of the club’s Premier League curtain-closer through injury.

A huge year for Ronaldo and Messi

And now that the two Ballon d’Or winners have drawn a line under their 2021/22 campaigns, we can make the logical step of comparing exactly how they’ve performed over the past nine months.

The Ronaldo vs Messi debate is a never-ending conversation that we are by no means above and would never pretend to be for a second because, let’s be honest here, it’s just so darn fun.

And with both superstars having taken a major, unexpected step in their careers last summer, there’s arguably never been a more fascinating time to contrast their performances over the course of a club season.

Messi vs Ronaldo in 2021/22

So, calling upon the data gurus over at WhoScored.com and messivsronaldo.app, we’ve crunched the numbers to compare Ronaldo and Messi in some of the most important metrics to their games.

The winner? Well, we’ll allow you to draw your own conclusions as we give your the numerical rundown on everything from goals to assists and trophies to Man of the Match awards down below:

Goals

Cristiano Ronaldo 24-11 Lionel Messi

Soccer Football – Champions League – Group F – Manchester United v Villarreal – Old Trafford, Manchester, Britain – September 29, 2021 Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring their second goal REUTERS/Phil Noble

Assists

Lionel Messi 14-3 Cristiano Ronaldo

Trophies

Lionel Messi 1-0 Cristiano Ronaldo

PSG win Ligue 1.Soccer Football – Ligue 1 – Paris St Germain v Metz – Parc des Princes, Paris, France – May 21, 2022 Paris St Germain’s Marquinhos lifts the trophy and celebrates with team members after winning Ligue 1 REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

Average match rating

Lionel Messi 7.75-7.32 Cristiano Ronaldo

Man of the Match awards

Cristiano Ronaldo 7-7 Lionel Messi

Messi scores for PSG.Soccer Football – Champions League – Group A – Paris St Germain v Manchester City – Parc des Princes, Paris, France – September 28, 2021 Paris St Germain’s Lionel Messi celebrates scoring their second goal with Neymar REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

Minute-per-goal ratio

Cristiano Ronaldo 134.3-261.0 Lionel Messi

Hat-tricks

Cristiano Ronaldo 2-0 Lionel Messi

Man Utd's Ronaldo scores a hat-trick.Soccer Football – Premier League – Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur – Old Trafford, Manchester, Britain – March 12, 2022 Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring their second goal REUTERS/Phil Noble EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club /league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.

Goals from outside the box

Cristiano Ronaldo 5-4 Lionel Messi

Free-kick goals

Cristiano Ronaldo 1-0 Lionel Messi

Man Utd's Ronaldo lines up a free-kick.Soccer Football – Premier League – Manchester United v Norwich City – Old Trafford, Manchester, Britain – April 16, 2022 Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo before he scores their third goal from a free kick and his hat-trick REUTERS/Craig Brough EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club /league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.

Ronaldo has the edge

Look, make of that what you will, but our two cents is that Ronaldo has enjoyed the superior season.

The United star comes out on top for goals, hat-tricks, long-range goals, free-kick goals, minutes-per-goal ratio and even holds his own when it comes to Man of the Match awards.

Yes, Messi won more trophies, but a single piece of silverware with PSG is frankly below average and Ronaldo was having to contend with the worst Red Devils side of the Premier League era.

And while, yes, Messi comes out on top for assists, we can’t really allow that to tip the balance in his favour when that simply has more to do with his playing position than anything else.

PSG's Messi looks frustrated.Soccer Football – Champions League – Round of 16 Second Leg – Real Madrid v Paris St Germain – Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid, Spain – March 9, 2022 Paris St Germain’s Lionel Messi looks dejected after the match REUTERS/Susana Vera

Plus, occupying more of a playmaking role makes it easier to produce a higher match rating on WhoScored as you can tick more statistical boxes in anything from passes to through balls to plain old touches.

But does that mean Messi has had a poor season? Absolutely not, because lest we forget that the entire context of this debate revolves around two of the greatest sportspeople to have ever lived.

So, no matter how you read into the statistics, the true moral of the story is that we should all just revel in the fact that we’ve had the privilege of watching yet another season of Messi and Ronaldo.

Juan Mata BRUTAL on the Glazers (Football Terrace)

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