Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi may meet again on Tuesday; UEFA.com recalls their past encounters.
Article top media content
Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi could meet again in the UEFA Champions League as Barcelona host Juventus in their final UEFA Champions League Group G game; UEFA.com tracks their past encounters.
The two most celebrated forwards of their age, Messi and Ronaldo have met 35 times in total with their clubs and national teams over the years, with the Argentinian having slightly the better of their encounters in terms of wins (16 to Ronaldo's ten) and goals (22 to Ronaldo's 19). However, they have not met in European competition since Barcelona beat Real Madrid in the 2010/11 UEFA Champions League semi-finals. They would have faced off on Matchday 2 this season, but Ronaldo was absent through illness; in the event, Messi scored a late penalty in Barcelona's 2-0 victory in Turin.
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 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.
Barcelona 2-0 United
2008/09 UEFA Champions League final
Ronaldo was entitled to bear a grudge after Messi spoiled his last-ever game as a United player before his summer 2009 switch to Real Madrid; the Argentinian notched the second goal of a 2-0 victory for Barça in the 2009 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 brace took him to 11 for the season, and he went on to score a 12th in the 3-1 final success over United at Wembley, finishing as the competition's top marksman for the third campaign running.
The take-home facts
- Messi's sides have had the better of their European games against Ronaldo's teams: W2 D2 L1.
- Ronaldo is yet to score in five European matches against teams featuring Messi.
- Messi has scored three Champions League goals against Ronaldo's sides.
- Ronaldo remains far and away the top scorer in the UEFA Champions League: 130 goals to Messi's 115.
- Messi has scored twice in five UEFA Champions League games against Juventus; a goal for every 197 minutes he has been on the pitch against the Old Lady.
- Ronaldo is yet to score against Barcelona in 450 minutes of UEFA Champions League football.