Messi and Ronaldo: Comparing Their Stats in 2023 As Inter Miami Star Nears 8th Ballon d’Or

Messi and Ronaldo: Comparing Their Stats in 2023 As Inter Miami Star Nears 8th Ballon d’Or

Elijah Odetokun
updated at February 13, 2024 at 11:54 AM
In this article:
Lionel Messi logo
Inter Miami CF logoFArgentina logo
Cristiano Ronaldo logo
C. Ronaldo
Al Nassr FC logoFPortugal logo
  • Lionel Messi is expected to win his record-extending 8th Ballon d'Or next week
  • Messi leading Argentina to World Cup glory in Qatar gives him a strong case
  • Cristiano Ronaldo is not in contention for the award, but is having an outstanding 2023

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are two of the greatest rivals in football, probably across all sports. The two have been the face of football for almost two decades.

The two players are approaching the end of their careers, and have departed Europe for the Saudi Pro League and Major League Soccer. Even there, they are making an impact.

Lionel Messi, Inter Miami, Charlotte, MLS.
Lionel Messi played his final MLS game of the season for Inter Miami against Charlotte FC. Photo by Matt Kelley.
Source: Getty Images

Messi is expected to win the 2023 Ballon d'Or while Ronaldo is not in contention, but how do their numbers in 2023 compare for club and country?

Lionel Messi's 2023 stats

The 36-year-old has represented Paris Saint-Germain and Inter Miami in 2023 while being a key player for his country, Argentina, with whom he has remained unbeaten this year.

Per Planet Football, he has played 42 games this year, scoring 28 goals and providing 12 assists for his teammates. Of his goals, five were freekicks - two for Argentina, two for Miami, and one for PSG. He has one hat trick and astoundingly zero penalties.

At the same time, he helped Miami to win their first-ever trophy, the Leagues Cup, but they missed out on the MLS playoff and lost the US Open Cup final to Houston Dynamo.

Cristiano Ronaldo's record in 2023

Per Al Jazeera, the Portuguese icon joined Al-Nassr late in December and debuted in January. This came after his Manchester United contract was mutually terminated after a controversial interview with Piers Morgan.

Since the turn of the new year, he has played 45 games, bagging an impressive 43 goals and adding 10 assists to his tally. He has three hat-tricks, three freekicks, and 12 penalties.

He also helped Al-Nassr to a trophy, the Arab Club Champions Cup, beating fierce rivals Al-Hilal in the final.

The Argentine may be in contention for football's most coveted individual award, but his rival has not done poorly in the year. Discounting a poor first half of the season with United and his World Cup outing, he should be in the top 30 for the Ballon d'Or.

Ronaldo settles GOAT debate

Sports Brief reported on Ronaldo settling the GOAT debate with Messi after declaring that the rivalry between him and the Argentine is over at a Portugal press conference weeks ago. The "war" lasted 15 years.

Football is awaiting its next generation of superstars to compete at the top level for the years to come. Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland are strong contenders as the Manchester City forward prepares to battle for the 2023 Ballon d'Or with Messi.

Van Persie snubs Ronaldo

Sports Brief reported on former Arsenal striker, Robin van Persie snubbing Cristiano Ronaldo when naming his best three players in the world currently.

The Dutch named Messi alongside PSG star Kylian Mbappe and Manchester City striker Erling Haaland as the top three players.

Elijah Odetokun photo
Elijah Odetokun
Elijah Odetokun is Reuters-trained journalist with three years of experience having previously worked at Daily Times Nigeria, OmaSports and El Futbolero.