Who has had the better international career? Messi or Ronaldo?

tentan

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Has Messi got the crown now after winning his first title with Argentina or would you still say Ronaldo has had the better international career?


Messi

151 caps : 76 goals (all time top scorer for Argentina)

1 x Copa America
3 x Copa America runners up
1 x World cup runners up
1 x Olympic Gold

Won Golden ball award at World Cup 2014
Has scored 13 Copa America goals
Has scored 5 World cup goals


C. Ronaldo

179 caps : 109 goals (all time top scorer for Portugal)
Joint holder with most international goals ever

1 x European Championship
1 x European Championship runners up
1 x UEFA Nations League

Top scorer in European Championship history (14 goals)
Has scored 6 World cup goals
 
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Madridista2000

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I think it's pretty equal. Not much difference.

I feel Messi could and should have done more with Argentina. Argentina had pretty good talent during the time Messi has played, but they never really made it big.

Portugal is only now beginning to produce big talent.

I don't give much for the Copa America. I don't think it's comparable to Euros. First of all it seems as if it takes place every year and secondly there are only 3-4 serious contenders to the title. So a semifinal is pretty given.
 

Daysleeper

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I think it's pretty equal. Not much difference.

I feel Messi could and should have done more with Argentina. Argentina had pretty good talent during the time Messi has played, but they never really made it big.

Portugal is only now beginning to produce big talent.

I don't give much for the Copa America. I don't think it's comparable to Euros. First of all it seems as if it takes place every year and secondly there are only 3-4 serious contenders to the title. So a semifinal is pretty given.
yes but Portugal avoided so many teams with their bracket it’s the same thing. And Portugal has been routinely knocked out by South American teams in recent years
 

NotoriousISSY

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Errrr Messi has 13 goals in Copa America and not top scorer in its history?

That centennial Copa America was a great stat padder for Messi in a sense too, given the fact it was an extraordinary tournament outside of the four year window, and he scored 5 goals.
 

Carolina Red

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Team wise they’re basically equal. Individually, Ronaldo has the edge. He’s a goal away from having the all-time international scoring record.
 

RedRonaldo

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Ronaldo - all time international record and winning Euro for very first time for his country is bigger achievements/legacy which edge it for me.
 

LazyRed-Ninja

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Its an interesting question. It depends how one would define better. Individually speaking there are different records to mention.

Messi is the only player to have ever won all the individual trophies at one single international tournament at the Copa 2021 (best player, most goals, most assists, etc). No player in football history has achieved that feature.

Messi is the only one of the two to have played a World Cup final and winning the golden ball award afterwards. (One can argue that losing a WC final is still not trophy, but it can be considered an achievement by others as well).

Ronaldo has won more international trophies, with the Euro Cup and the Nations Cup. (There is the argument that he didn’t play the Euro’s final with his injury, but that does not take away his performances prior to that final.

Ronaldo has scored more goals between the two. (one can argue that Ronaldo had a 2 seasons international head start One can also argue that the qualifiers for the Euro’s have more matches (and thus more opportunities to score) compared to the Copa America format.

You then also have a whole metric of goals scored against lesser/higher ranked opponents, goals scored in the group stages and goals scored in the later parts of tournaments.

this thread may probably end up in another debate. They both have unique records in their own way, but to keep it in the spirit of this thread, id say that winning the Copa America against Brazil in their own stadium, not having lost their for 70 plus years (and ending the Argentinian drought of 28 years without an international trophy) did Messi a big favor for the international debate.
 
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RedRonaldo

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Has Messi got the crown now after winning his first title with Argentina or would you still say Ronaldo has had the better international career?


Messi

151 caps : 76 goals (all time top scorer for Argentina)

1 x Copa America
3 x Copa America runners up
1 x World cup runners up
1 x Olympic Gold

Top scorer in Copa America history (17 goals)
Has scored 5 World cup goals


C. Ronaldo

179 caps : 109 goals (all time top scorer for Portugal)
Joint holder with most international goals ever

1 x European Championship
1 x European Championship runners up
1 x UEFA Nations League

Top scorer in European Championship history (14 goals)
Has scored 6 World cup goals
Messi isn’t top scorer in Copa history. He is only ranked at 7th with 13 goals, which also ties with 6 other players.
 
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Mr Smith

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Surely you can argue about this in the thread that already exists?

But it's Ronaldo. Messi's international career is by no means bad, but 3 defeats in finals has to count against him.
 

Jeppers7

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Ronaldo by far. He’s had an astonishing international career.
 

Lennon

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In my opinion, the European Championship is more important, has a higher status than the Copa America. So Ronaldo ...
 

11101

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It's pretty comfortably Ronaldo. He's been a bit fortunate at times but overall his contributions have been huge.

Let's be honest, this extraordinary 2021 Copa America was a bit of a joke. It doesn't really count when you're talking about the Copa America of old or the Euros. Outside of that Messi has been pretty awful for Argentina, relative to his ability.
 

Bole Top

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you simply have to be insane to open another thread to debate the same things from that thread.
 

Iker Quesadillas

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Has Messi got the crown now after winning his first title with Argentina or would you still say Ronaldo has had the better international career?
Ronaldo has had the better international career relative to expectations.

Messi is a better player than Ronaldo and playing in a historically successful nation, and one of two dominant nations in CONMEBOL. A return of 1 Copa America won at age 34 is really poor and if in 2009 you'd told people that this was all Messi would ever win with the NT they'd have called you a hater.

I think Ronaldo has underperformed in terms of quality of performances, but I don't know that people really thought it was that likely that Portugal would win a major title. And yet they went and did it.
 

Neil_Buchanan

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The euros is much tougher to win than the copa plus Ronaldos international scoring record is astonishing so he wins this one.
 

Real Name

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It's pretty comfortably Ronaldo. He's been a bit fortunate at times but overall his contributions have been huge.

Let's be honest, this extraordinary 2021 Copa America was a bit of a joke. It doesn't really count when you're talking about the Copa America of old or the Euros. Outside of that Messi has been pretty awful for Argentina, relative to his ability.
Why is it a joke. You can win only what its front of you or the competition you're playing in. That's like saying 2016 was an awful tournament just to downgrade Ronaldo's achievemnt. I wouldn't say he's been awful for Argentina either, relative or not to his ability.

Copa and Euros comparisons are not fair really. I mean Euros is a tougher competiton of course but we've been hearing for ages how Messi cant win anything on international level, now he's won Copa it it's not as good as Euros. Well he cant play in Euros so there's that.

Saying all that Ronaldo edges it but not by much. Its not a big success in the terms of trophies and relative to their abilites for both.
 

Iker Quesadillas

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we've been hearing for ages how Messi cant win anything on international level, now he's won Copa it it's not as good as Euros. Well he cant play in Euros so there's that.
We've been hearing that for ages because he lost a bunch of finals. Hard to undo that.
 

RooneyLegend

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Ronaldo. Messi gets little credit for winning what's always been known as a second rate trophy especially after dishing up an absolute mess of a performance in the final.
 

11101

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Why is it a joke. You can win only what its front of you or the competition you're playing in. That's like saying 2016 was an awful tournament just to downgrade Ronaldo's achievemnt. I wouldn't say he's been awful for Argentina either, relative or not to his ability.

Copa and Euros comparisons are not fair really. I mean Euros is a tougher competiton of course but we've been hearing for ages how Messi cant win anything on international level, now he's won Copa it it's not as good as Euros. Well he cant play in Euros so there's that.

Saying all that Ronaldo edges it but not by much. Its not a big success in the terms of trophies and relative to their abilites for both.
True but its still relevant. Nobody cares who wins the Nations League but that's still an international tournament. It's down to prestige, and that prestige comes from the level of competition. Copa America has been awful in recent years and it's prestige has dropped accordingly.

The other element to the debate is how the players performed in the tournament and in the big games. Ronaldo has been hit and miss there but Messi has been a miss every time.
 

kc7

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Messi easily, 1 Copa win, 1 Olympics, 3 Copa finals, 1 WC final.
Individually, 3 player of the tournament awards (including WC best player award) vs Ronaldo's "0".

People often call Greece's EC a fluke, if that's the case I do not know what to call Portugal's win. Greece played against Spain, Portugal (beat twice), France, Czech Rep while you know who Portugal played against. Ronaldo was not even the best player of his team in EC.
 

RooneyLegend

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True but its still relevant. Nobody cares who wins the Nations League but that's still an international tournament. It's down to prestige, and that prestige comes from the level of competition. Copa America has been awful in recent years and it's prestige has dropped accordingly.

The other element to the debate is how the players performed in the tournament and in the big games. Ronaldo has been hit and miss there but Messi has been a miss every time.
Copa America has never had prestige. Brazil and Argentina's on and off again relationship with the tournament has made it that way. Don't understand how suddenly since Messi won one it's somewhat equates to an Euro.
 

Real Name

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True but its still relevant. Nobody cares who wins the Nations League but that's still an international tournament. It's down to prestige, and that prestige comes from the level of competition. Copa America has been awful in recent years and it's prestige has dropped accordingly.

The other element to the debate is how the players performed in the tournament and in the big games. Ronaldo has been hit and miss there but Messi has been a miss every time.
Miss every time, in every tournament bar this year's Copa? Dont agree.
I agree about the prestige but it's an international trophy in a only competition bar world cup he can compete in.
 

Real Name

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We've been hearing that for ages because he lost a bunch of finals. Hard to undo that.
Well he's done that now, won a final finally. But seems so it isnt enough for the people who want to put him down. It's obvious even in this thread (I dont mean you).
 

11101

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Miss every time, in every tournament bar this year's Copa? Dont agree.
Well other than an injury time goal in an already finished quarter final tie, he did nothing in this year's Copa knockout stages. He was anonymous in the final.

And we all know he's yet to score a world cup knockout goal, the tournament that really counts.
 

Real Name

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Well other than an injury time goal in an already finished quarter final tie, he did nothing in this year's Copa knockout stages. He was anonymous in the final.

And we all know he's yet to score a world cup knockout goal, the tournament that really counts.
Yeah, top score and assists in Copa but did nothing. It depends how you twist it to make it look worse.
And now Copas dont even count, he has been miss every time cause he's yet to score in World cup knock out stages.
 

11101

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Yeah, top score and assists in Copa but did nothing. It depends how you twist it to make it look worse.
And now Copas dont even count, he has been miss every time cause he's yet to score in World cup knock out stages.
The point is it's easy for a player of his calibre to score against cannon fodder - Chile, Bolivia and Ecuador in this case. They very best players are judged on how they perform in the big games i.e the knockout stages.
 

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Edit: it was Fantine of course, not Jean Valjean, silly me.
 
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OleBoiii

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Ronaldo has generally played for a weaker team and Portugal definitely has a weaker position in Europe than Argentina has in South America. Ronaldo's captain and "second manager" role has also been very obvious.

It's a no-brainer for me: Ronaldo for now.

Should Messi win the world cup with Argentina then I might change my mind.
 

breath

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Off course Messi, Cristiano depends on diving and penalties
 

fps

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I think they’re the same. Also I think both countries have been similar - lots of mercurial talent around but winning an international tournament pretty amazing given the gaps. Argentina for instance have had a stacked attack and no proper midfield structure seemingly forever, to the point where teams could endlessly simply run through them, a Mascherano here or there excepted. Add in that those attackers didn’t really gel with the fluid way Messi wanted to play and they’ve always been less than the sum of their parts til now.

Portugal notoriously create beautiful wingers and passers but lack cutting edge - Ronaldo provided this - and squad depth. They’ve also been flaky mentally and had talented but inconsistent players for such a long time that they would sometimes just not turn up, or be naive in big matches. Ronaldo has taken the lead in changing that mentality, but in Portugal’s case more than Argentina’s, they simply got better players coming through and that improved them.

Each was absolutely crucial to their country’s tournament win. I’d say Portugal worked out better how to get the best from their talisman, partly because of the egos involved in Argentina’s forwards, partly because Ronaldo’s height and physique lets him play a more versatile set of forward roles. That said, Messi was one proper centre forward’s finish away from probably winning his team the World Cup.

Geography also plays a role in how these teams gel - it’s simply easier to get the Portuguese all together and working, Argentina is such a long way away for most of those players and that makes a difference for preparation time, team spirit and so forth, for a long time.
 
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Real Name

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The point is it's easy for a player of his calibre to score against cannon fodder. They very best players are judged on how they perform in the big games i.e the knockout stages.
As I said, twisting and turning. I see you're a Ronaldo fan and that's fair, no need to downgrade Messi's success to big up Ronaldo. And individually Ronaldo edges it. As for trophies its pretty similar.
 

Bole Top

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Ronaldo always lose against Chile, Uruguay and Brazil so "weak teams in Copa" argument is a bit similar to cold night at Stoke.
 

Real Name

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Ronaldo always lose against Chile, Uruguay and Brazil so "weak teams in Copa" argument is a bit similar to cold night at Stoke.
Yeah somehow group consisting Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay and Bolivia is cannon fodder.
 
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