Footballing superstars, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have been embroiled in the "Greatest of All-Time" debate ever since they made their debut and while they both have their fans, there is undeniably one who is better when it comes for their respective national teams.
The Portugese superstar has led his country to the Euro 2016 and UEFA Nations League titles in recent times, while Messi for his part is yet to lead Argentina to success, despite reaching the finals of the 2018 World Cup and two Copa America tournaments.
🇦🇷Lionel Messi goals: 67— SPORTbible (@sportbible) June 17, 2019
🇦🇷Argentina’s squad combined goals: 74
🇵🇹 Cristiano Ronaldo goals: 88
🇵🇹 Portugal’s squad combined goals: 33
Second top scorer in Portugal’s current team is Pepe with 7... 😅 https://t.co/eyNZIWFGnQ
While both are talismanic figures for their country, the real difference is in their numbers as Ronaldo has scored 88 times for Portugal, with Messi netting 67 goals so far. However, the major difference comes when you take away the goals scored in international friendlies, and this is where the 34-year-old comes out in top.
In competitive fixtures not including friendlies, Ronaldo has scored 71 goals while Messi only has 35 to his name, which goes to show that the Portugese star has more than double the number of goals than his rival.
This could all change in the future, considering that Messi is 31 as compared to Ronaldo who is 34, but there is no doubt that when it comes to international football, the Portugese skipper has a clear advantage.