1. The international tournament
Portugal’s winning of the 2016 European Championship gives Ronaldo the edge over Lionel Messi on the international stage. The latter has lost one World Cup and three Copa America finals, while his rival has lost one Euro final and won one, too.
2. Trophies in two different countries
While Messi’s trophy haul is better than Ronaldo’s, Portugal’s star boasts two different league titles – in England and in Spain. He also conquered Europe with both Manchester United (in 2008) and Real Madrid (in 2014 and 2016).
3. Ballons d’Or in two different countries
Messi (five) might have won more Ballons d’Or than Ronaldo (three), but the latter has claimed his World Player of the Year awards with teams from two different countries. The only other player to have achieved the same is the Brazilian Ronaldo, for Inter Milan and Real Madrid.
4. The better all-round athlete
There’s surely no disputing who the superior athlete is. Ronaldo’s incredible strength, jump height and raw speed simply cannot be matched by Messi.
5. The most given to charity
On top of all his footballing achievements, Ronaldo has been named the world’s most charitable sports star by do something.org. He even sold his 2011 European Golden Shoe award for €1.5m to fund schools in Gaza.
6. The Champions League goal record
On club football’s biggest stage, who has produced the goods? Once again, it’s Ronaldo first, followed by Messi. Ronaldo currently has 93 Champions League goals in his career while Messi has 83.”
7. The most European Golden Shoes
The European Golden Shoe is awarded every season to the player who has recorded the highest goals tally out of all the European leagues. Ronaldo has won the award four times, including once for Manchester United, while Messi has clinched the honour three times.