Lionel Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo: Viral Twitter thread compares their international records

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Lionel Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo is a debate that will never be answered whether we like it or not.

The fact of the matter is that both players have been so darn brilliant in the same era for them to ever be separated and let's embrace that we've enjoyed their talents for the last 15 years.

But at the same time, it isn't half fun looking at various ways to compare two of the greatest players in history and one of the key battlegrounds of the debate is international football.

Messi vs Ronaldo internationally

Ronaldo and Portugal's romp to victory at Euro 2016 was seen as a massive power play in the debate, finally ensuring that at least one of the players would retire with an international medal.

It's also the same period in which Messi suffered back-to-back-to-back heartbreaks with defeat in the 2014 World Cup final as well as the 2015 and 2016 Copa America climaxes.

Ronaldo also boasts a better goal-scoring record for his country, closing in on the world-record with 99 strikes for Portugal as opposed to the 70 that Messi has bagged for Argentina.

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Twitter thread fights Messi's case

As a result, many football fans take it for granted that, regardless of who you think is better out of Messi and Ronaldo, that we can all agree that the Juve man has been better internationally.

Well... things might not be quite as clearcut as they seem and the argument in favour of Messi has been presented this week in the form of a divisive Twitter thread.

Twitter user @lionelstat - take from that what you will - released their tweets with the following title: "A thread on why Messi 🇦🇷 is better than Ronaldo 🇵🇹 on the international stage - without doubt."

If you're either nodding in agreement or reaching for your nearest pitchfork, hold fire one second and check out the complete argument down below to assess the statistics in full:

GIVEMESPORT's Kobe Tong says

I want to agree with the Twitter thread, I really do, because I whole-heartedly believe that Messi's international career is woefully underrated.

But there's only one statistic that matters here and it's international trophies: Ronaldo 1-0 Messi.

We can talk about Argentina teammates letting down Messi until we're blue in this face, but let's not pretend as though the Portugal sides of the last decade have been dripping with talent either. 

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And as for the statistics on Messi scoring against tougher opponents, that's largely a consequence of European football having far more micro-nations playing in World Cup and Euro qualifiers.

Is Ronaldo supposed to just stop scoring against Lithuania, San Marino and Luxembourg? Of course not and the Portuguese's streak at international tournaments speaks for itself.

So, sure, there might be an argument that Messi has had a larger individual influence - even though that could be contested - but Ronaldo has the silverware to show for it and that's what matters most.

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