Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo: A Comparison of Copa America and Euros Stats

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo: A Comparison of Copa America and Euros Stats

Edwin Kiplagat
updated at June 15, 2024 at 6:55 AM
In this article:
Cristiano Ronaldo logo
C. Ronaldo
Al Nassr FC logoFPortugal logo
Lionel Messi logo
Inter Miami CF logoFArgentina logo
Argentina logo
Portugal logo
CONMEBOL Copa America logo
CONMEBOL Copa America
Al Nassr FC logo
Al Nassr
Saudi Arabia
Inter Miami CF logo
Club Internacional de Futbol Miami
United States
  • Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have scored many goals and won many trophies in their storied career spanning over two decades
  • Football fans have been embroiled in heated debates in the last few years about who is the greatest between the two legends
  • They are getting ready to represent Argentina and Portugal at the Euros and Copa America, looking to add another piece of silverware

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Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are approaching the twilight of their careers.

The two football icons are getting ready to play in the Copa America and the Euros, perhaps their last major tournaments.

Messi has won the Copa America in 2021, while Ronaldo won the Euros in 2016 with Portugal.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Euro 2024, Copa America, Argentina, Portugal, Manchester United, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Al-Nassr, Inter Miami
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo celebrating with the Copa America and Euros trophies. Photos by Nelson Almeida and Jean Catuffe.
Source: Getty Images

The debate on who is the greatest of all time (G.O.A.T) is still active, especially on social media, despite Messi's epic World Cup triumph in 2022.

Both players are out of Europe after dominating for over a decade. Ronaldo is still scoring for fun in Saudi Arabia with Al-Nassr, while Messi is enjoying his football in the USA with Inter Miami.

Therefore, these two icons will play a vital role in their team's quest for a trophy. Ronaldo's Portugal are favourites to win the European Championship, while Argentina can still go all the way in the Copa America.

These two veterans have scored hundreds of goals in their careers, but how do their stats in continental competition compare?

Ronaldo at Euros vs Messi at Copa America

Ronaldo at the Euros

Ronaldo has scored 130 goals for Portugal, the most in international football history. Iran's Ali Daei (108) and Messi (106) are the closest players to him. His 207 matches for Portugal are the most in men's international football history, per UEFA.

The Real Madrid legend is set to play in his sixth Euros tournament. He made his Euros debut in 2004, which Portugal hosted and reached the final. The 39-year-old also played every second of the final, which his country lost to Greece.

He has scored in every Euros he has played, and his goals in the competition stand at 14, five more than the next player on the all-time list.

He managed two goals in 2004, one in 2008, three in 2012 and 2016, and five in 2020.

Messi at the Copa America

Before winning the Copa America in 2021, Messi received criticism for not winning a major international trophy with Argentina. He followed that with an incredible World Cup triumph in 2022 in Qatar.

The 36-year-old made his Copa America debut in 2007 but Argentina were beaten in the final by bitter rivals Brazil.

The Barcelona icon took Argentina to the 2014 World Cup final but fell short against Germany. In 2022, he produced a magnificent performance to win the tournament and perhaps end the GOAT debate.

The Inter Miami star has won everything in football and has nothing to prove. He has played 34 matches at Copa America and scored 13 goals, ranking him seventh among all-time top scorers. Argentina’s Norberto Mendez and Brazil’s Zizinho are at the top of the list, with 17 each, per NBC Sports.

Here's a summary of Ronaldo's Euros and Messi's Copa America numbers.




Cristiano Ronaldo




Lionel Messi




Messi wants to meet NBA GOAT

Sports Brief earlier reported that Messi had expressed his desire to meet NBA icon Michael Jordan and take a photo with him.

Messi and Jordan are considered the GOATS in their respective sports, and a meeting between them is probably long overdue.

Edwin Kiplagat photo
Edwin Kiplagat
Edwin Kiplagat has five years of experience in journalism working as a Sports Editor at Africa Insight Communications and ESPN. Edwin Kiplagat is a Bachelor's Degree holder in journalism from the Multimedia University of Kenya.