On Thursday (January 19), the next edition of one of the biggest football rivalries will take place.
For years, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo they fought for the title of the best player in the world.
While in the eyes of many this debate was settled on December 18 when Messi lifted the World Cup, for some it is still a matter of debate and for others there is no imitation of Ronaldo’s legacy.
Regardless of who is considered the greatest of all time, there is no denying that this rivalry has been going on for centuries and we may never see two formidable talents face off like this again, at least for a long time.
In two days, the pair will face off again when PSG travel to Riyadh to take on the Saudi All-Star XI (consisting of players Al Nassr and Al-Hilal).
While Messi still plays for the Parisians, Ronaldo has recently completed a move to Al Nassr after mutually terminating his contract with Manchester United.
Ahead of this friendly reunion, we look back at both careers and how they compare…
When Lio met Cristiano: What happened last time?
Both domestically and internationally, the duo have met each other 36 times – the first of which was in the Champions League when Ronaldo was still a Manchester United player in his first appearance for the club in 2008.
That match ended in a draw and United won the second leg, but the Catalan club got their revenge the following year by beating Sir Alex Ferguson’s side in the Champions League final, prompting Ronaldo to join Real Madrid.
They would then spend the next nine years in La Liga and Spanish domestic competitions before Ronaldo was the first to leave the league, moving to Juventus.
2020 will be the last game between the two – at least until Thursday – and this time Ronaldo will defeat his rival as Juventus knock Barça out of the UCL. The infamous number 7 was well on his way to burying two penalties in an away group match.
At the moment, Messi leads with 16 wins to Ronaldo’s 11 – but both have had their share of goals over the years.
Lionel Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo: Matchup Statistics
The numbers behind each one are remarkable…
Lionel Messi vs Kylian Mbappe: Team and Individual Honors
When it comes to football, statistics tell only a fraction of the story; These two players are the best example of this.
Their influence on the team is evident and does not always go unnoticed. So let’s take a look at the trophy triumphs that were integral to…
Team | Individual
- FIFA: Best Men’s Player (2019, 2009)
- Golden Ball (2021, 2019, 2015, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009)
- UEFA: The best player in Europe (2015, 2011, 2009)
- 3x FIFA Club World Cup
- 2x winner of the Golden Ball of the World Cup (2014, 2022)
- 1x Copa America (international)
- 4-time Champions League winner
- 10-time La Liga champion
- 1x Ligue 1 champion
- Three-time winner of the UEFA Super Cup
- 7-time winner of the Spanish Cup
- 8-time winner of the Spanish Super Cup
- 1x French Cup winner
- 1x French Super Cup winner
- 1x U20 World Cup winner
- 1x Olympic gold medalist
- 1x UEFA CONMEBOL Champions Cup winner (international)
Team | Individual
- FIFA: Best Men’s Player (2017, 2016)
- Golden Ball (2017, 2016, 2014, 2013, 2009)
- UEFA: The best player in Europe (2017, 2016, 2014, 2008)
- Winner of the Puskas Prize (2009)
- 1x European Champion (International)
- 5-time Champions League winner
- Four-time winner of the FIFA Club World Cup
- 3-time Premier League winner
- 2x Champion of Spain
- 2x Italian Champion
- 1x UEFA Nations League winner (international)
- 1x UEFA Super Cup winner
- 1x FA Cup winner
- Two-time winner of the Spanish Cup
- Two-time FA Cup winner
- Two-time winner of the Italian Super Cup
- 2x Community Shield winner
- 1x Portuguese Super Cup winner
PSG vs Saudi All-Star XI, Lionel Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo: Schedule, time and how to watch
Perhaps the last time Messi and Ronaldo will clash on Thursday (January 19) when PSG take on the Saudi star XI.
This match starts at 20:00 local time, which is 17:00 GMT and 18:00 CET.
BeIN Sports will show it live on their channels around the world and PSG will also show it on their club fan website.