Comparing Messi and Ronaldo’s Stats at World Cup, Euro or Copa America Knockout Stages

Comparing Messi and Ronaldo’s Stats at World Cup, Euro or Copa America Knockout Stages

Elijah Odetokun
July 6, 2024 at 1:39 PM
In this article:
Lionel Messi logo
Inter Miami CF logoFArgentina logo
Argentina logo
CONMEBOL Copa America logo
CONMEBOL Copa America
FIFA World Cup logo
FIFA World Cup
Cristiano Ronaldo logo
C. Ronaldo
Al Nassr FC logoFPortugal logo
Portugal logo
UEFA European Championship logo
  • Lionel Messi and Argentina are through to the semi-final of the 2024 Copa America after beating Ecuador on penalties
  • Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal have been eliminated in the quarter-final of Euro 2024 after losing on penalties to France
  • The tournaments are the last time Messi and Ronaldo will be representing their countries at a continental competition

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The 2024 CONMEBOL Copa America and UEFA European Championship are going on simultaneously in the United States and Germany.

Lionel Messi and his Argentina side have reached the semi-final after beating Ecuador on penalties, while Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal have been eliminated after losing to France on penalties.

Lionel Messi, Argentina, Ecuador, Copa America, NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas, USA.
Lionel Messi celebrates with his Argentina teammates after beating Ecuador on penalties to reach the 2024 Copa America semi-final. Photo by Charlly Triballeau/AFP.
Source: Getty Images

The two superstars have had underwhelming tournaments with zero goals between them, but the Argentina captain has adapted to his role as the creative engine of the team, while his rival is still chasing goals.

Sports Brief analyses the performance of the two at international tournament knockout stages.

Messi in Copa America and World Cup KO games

According to StatMuse, Messi played in 24 knockout games between the World Cup and the South American football tournament. He scored eight goals and provided fifteen assists, with about 0.96 attacking contributions per game.

He has played six finals for Argentina's senior team, excluding the Finalissima. He lost three Copa finals before winning the 2021 edition. He was a runner-up in the 2014 World Cup final in Brazil before winning the 2022 final in Qatar.

According to, he is the first player to score in the group stage, Round of 16, quarter-final, semi-final and final at the same World Cup after doing this in Qatar.

Ronaldo in Euros and World Cup KO games

Ronaldo played 21 games in the knockout stages between the European Championship and World Cup. He scored three goals and provided two assists, an average of 0.24 attacking contributions per game.

According to, the 39-year-old is the first player to feature at six Euros. He reached the final in 2004 and 2016, winning the latter after beating France in the extra time.

His best World Cup outing was fourth place in 2006, and he has yet to score a goal in the knockout stages of the Mundial. He eyes the 2026 World Cup before retiring.

The Portuguese is seen as the most clutch player in history, but his records in the knockout stages compared to his rival suggest the former Barcelona man does it better on the biggest stage.

Four records Ronaldo broke at Euro 2024

Sports Brief reported on four records Ronaldo broke at Euro 2024 despite his country, Portugal, suffering a quarter-final elimination after a 5-3 penalty shootout loss to France.

He was on course for six records before the tournament but only achieved four due to not scoring at the tournament. A goal would have sealed the other two for him.

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.