Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have met six times in Europe's top club competition, in addition to their encounters in domestic leagues and international fixtures.
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The two most celebrated forwards of their age, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have met 36 times in total with their clubs and national teams, with the Argentinian having the better of their encounters in terms of wins (16 to Ronaldo's 11) and goals (22 to Ronaldo's 21).
Six of those fixtures were in the UEFA Champions League; UEFA.com looks back over them.
The deadly duo's first three encounters at any level were in the UEFA Champions League, kicking off in the 2007/08 semis. Ronaldo missed a penalty for United after just three minutes of their first meeting (a 0-0 draw at the Camp Nou), but it was no great disaster in the long run: Paul Scholes scored the only goal in the second leg and United went on to win the final against Chelsea on penalties in Moscow, Ronaldo getting their goal.
Barcelona 2-0 Man. United
2008/09 UEFA Champions League final
Ronaldo was entitled to bear a grudge after Messi spoiled the last game of his first spell as a United player before his summer 2009 switch to Real Madrid; the Argentinian registered the second goal of a 2-0 victory for Barça in the UEFA Champions League final. "We, the players, were not well, the tactics were not good," said Ronaldo after full time in Rome. "Everything went wrong."
After Pepe was dismissed in the first leg, Messi took full advantage, striking twice in the last 15 minutes – including a superb solo effort – to tilt the balance of the tie in Barcelona's favour. His two goals took him to 11 for the season, and he went on to add a 12th in the 3-1 final success over United at Wembley, finishing as the competition's top scorer for the third campaign running.
Barcelona 0-3 Juventus
2020/21 UEFA Champions League group stage
Ronaldo was absent for Barcelona and Juventus's first encounter in this COVID-affected season, Messi scoring a penalty in his side's 2-0 win in Turin. However, CR7 upstaged his host in the return fixture, scoring twice from the spot as Juve recorded a 3-0 success at the Camp Nou. "We have shared the last 12 or 13 years of our lives," Ronaldo reflected of Messi. "People speak of our rivalry but for me it is always a privilege to face him."
The take-home facts
- The giants' six meetings in European football have ended more or less equal, with two wins for Messi's sides, two for Ronaldo's and two draws.
- Ronaldo did not score in his first five European matches against teams featuring Messi, but broke his duck in style with two in their most recent meeting.
- Messi has scored three Champions League goals against sides featuring Ronaldo.
- Ronaldo remains the top scorer in the UEFA Champions League: 140 goals to Messi's 129.