Cristiano Ronaldo vs Lionel Messi: Check Out Who Has Scored More Free Kick Goals

Cristiano Ronaldo vs Lionel Messi: Check Out Who Has Scored More Free Kick Goals

Isaac Darko
updated at April 12, 2023 at 8:28 PM
In this article:
Cristiano Ronaldo logo
C. Ronaldo
Al Nassr FC logoFPortugal logo
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Inter Miami CF logoFArgentina logo
  • Cristiano Ronaldo ended his mini goal-scoring drought in Al-Nassr's 2-1 win against Abha
  • It was the first time the former Manchester United forward had scored a freekick in many years
  • Here is how Ronaldo's free-kick stats compare to Lionel Messi's set-pieces success rate

Cristiano Ronaldo scored many a free-kick in his younger days but has left much to be desired with his attempts in recent years, until his thundering effort for Al-Nassr.

The 38-year-old netted a long-range freekick as Al-Nassr staged a dramatic fightback win against Abha to keep their title aspirations alive.

The Portuguese phenomenon's fiercely struck a freekick which flew through the human wall before breezing past the hapless goalkeeper to level the score and, most importantly, bring Al-Nassr level.

Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo
Here is how Ronaldo's free-kick stats compare to Lionel Messi's set-pieces success rate. Credit: @brfootball
Source: Twitter

Ronaldo's last free-kick goal

The Portugal captain's last free-kick success came during his days with Italian powerhouse Juventus, when he rifled home a set-piece in a 4-1 triumph against Torino.

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That game occurred at the Juventus stadium on July 4, 2020.

Since then, the five-time Ballon d'Or winner has fluffed his lines to address his set-piece woes.

However, he responded to naysayers in style on Saturday, March 18, when he slammed home from 30+ yards to end his drought - the 58th free-kick goal in his career.

But how does Ronaldo's free-kick stats compare to Lionel Messi's set-pieces success rate?

Ronaldo vs Messi free-kick techniques

Ronaldo prefers to score from a distance rather than close to the goal. Although his ability to score from the edge of the box has appeared to decline recently, Ronaldo still poses a threat in dead-ball situations.

The Al-Nassr star primarily employs the knuckleball technique when taking set pieces with very little side spin to allow the airflow around the ball to direct its trajectory. His technique is very challenging for goalkeepers to stop because they combine speed, lack of spin, and unpredictable trajectory.

Meanwhile, Messi's free-kick goals have a unique "sprained-ankle" technique when taking free kicks. This enables him to give the ball enough spin and curl to evade the wall and outmuscle the goalkeeper. He has the record for the most free-kick goals in a season.

Ronaldo vs Messi free-kick stats

Ronaldo is currently three behind Messi in terms of free-kicks scored with the Portugese scoring 58 times to Messi's 61. 1. Ronaldo (6.2%) has a worse conversion rate than Messi (9.1%) .

Breakdown of free-kick goals

Competition Ronaldo Messi

International 10 9

League 33 41

Champions League 12 5

Other Cup Competitions 3 6

Total 58 61

Conversion Rate 6.2% 9.1%

Fans claim Ronaldo is ageing

Earlier, Sports Brief reported that Cristiano Ronaldo has turned social media upside down, with multiple user reactions trickling in.

Ronaldo, whose professional career has spanned almost two decades, made the odd yet lucrative move to join Saudi club Al-Nassr after falling out with the rank and file of Manchester United.

A photo of Ronaldo, which suggest the Portuguese phenomenon is nearing the end of his career, has sparked massive reactions from social media users.

Isaac Darko photo
Isaac Darko
Isaac Darko is a La Liga, Ligue 1 and Bundesliga editor at Sports Brief with a Degree in Journalism and Communications from Ghana Institute of Journalism (2010)