Lionel Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo: Graphic compares their Barcelona and Real Madrid assists


Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are the two greatest footballers of their generation.

With a mind-blowing six Ballon d'Or titles between them, near enough every football fan on the planet would admit that the dazzling duo have been the sport's very best in the 21st century.

As a result, it's always an occasion when Messi and Ronaldo share a pitch together, which happened for the first time in two years this season when Juventus made the trip to Barcelona.

Ronaldo and Messi in Spain

While, yes, Ronaldo did hog the headlines with two goals at Camp Nou, it was just brilliant to see the two geniuses inhabiting the same acre of turf regardless of the final score.

But if there was any downside to their long-awaited reunion, it was the fact it reminded us that they no longer play each other every season as they did for most of the 2010s.

Yes, that's right, we couldn't help casting our minds back to the halcyon days of 2009-2018 when we were essentially guaranteed at least two head-to-head clashes between the stars each year.


Ronaldo and Messi's playmaking

Of course, Messi has played his entire career with Barcelona, so it was Ronaldo's world-record move to Real Madrid over 10 years ago that ensured they'd be competing in the same division.

For great swathes of that unforgettable era, the focus revolved around who out of Ronaldo and Messi would end each season with the most goals, but we all know that both players are about more than that.

In fact, while it's well-known that Messi is one of the best playmakers in the business, it's important to acknowledge that Ronaldo's creativity is also a seriously underrated side of his own game.


Graphics of their assists

And it's something that is abundantly clear in the superb graphics by Twitter user @egenpressing91 that have been doing the rounds recently, illustrating the trajectory of players' assists.

It's a brilliant way of visualising the ways through which players have created so many goals and now, Ronaldo and Messi's Real and Barcelona assists have been given the same treatment.

You can check out both of their respective assist graphics down below to see how their creativity compares during their time with the Spanish giants:

Don't underestimate Ronaldo

So, yes, the elephant in the room here is that Messi is shown to be the more prolific playmaker, boasting an assist graphic that is far busier than the one Ronaldo painted at the Bernabeu.

However, that's a bit like saying that a Ferrari F1 car is slow as it's not quite the Mercedes because the fact of the matter is that Ronaldo's playmaking graph is still a work of art.

In fact, nobody put it better than the creator of the graphics themselves, tweeting: "Btw: I know that his map will be used to confirm Messi's superiority..and rightly so - you can't compare their playmaking ability.


"BUT, believe me - Ronaldo also had some insane assists in him..these are NOT all just simple cutbacks."

Spot on. It's never been more important to appreciate the individual contributions of Ronaldo and Messi within these fun comparisons because, at the end of the day, they won't be around forever.

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