Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have been arguably the finest players the game has ever seen. Both footballers have been on top of their game for the past two decades, delivering year in, year out. Between them, they have won eleven Ballon D'or awards, scoring over 1500 career goals in the process.
Both players were in action for their countries in this International break, and both have reached another milestones for their respective countries this week. Yesterday, Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat trick against Luxembourg to set a series of personal records. With Messi being around 30goals behind Ronaldo in the list of most goals scored for country, it is almost easy to say the Portuguese striker has been more successful than the PSG man at country level, however, in this article, we will analyze two major reasons why Ronaldo has not been more successful than Messi for country.
Although, it could be argued that hardly can someone find a better goalscorer in the game presently than Ronaldo. The Portuguese striker has made it his habit to score goals at will, however, success in the game of football cannot be judged by that. Before concluding that Ronaldo has been more successful than Messi at International level, some factors have to be considered and below we analyze two important reasons why Ronaldo should not be tagged the most successful yet, ahead of Lionel Messi.
1. All what Ronaldo does for Portugal is scoring, Messi does more than that.
One major reason why Ronaldo should not be seen as more successful than Messi at International stage is that the Portuguese striker's game has been about scoring goals alone, and he hardly joins in creating chances for teammates. In fact, the next person to Ronaldo on the list of all-time highest goalscorer for Portugal has 47goals, which is more than times two of Ronaldo's number currently.
Lionel Messi, who has scored 80goals for Argentina, is just some 25goals ahead of the second placed Gabriel Batistuta. To show how industrious Messi has been when it comes to team play, he has the likes of Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain, Angel Di Maria, Lautaro Martinez, Maxi Rodriguez, Carlos Tevez, among the top 23 all-time highest goalscorer list for Argentina. Had it been that Messi has been the only one doing the scoring for Argentina like the way Ronaldo is almost doing, then there's a possibility that he would have exceeded Ronaldo's goal record.
2. Most of Ronaldo goals do come against minnows.
Do you know that 36 of Ronaldo's 115 international goals come against teams ranked below 95 in the World, while only 7 of Messi's 80 goals come against teams of such standard. Ronaldo's hat trick yesterday took his record to 10 for the country, the most of any player in history, however, teams he has scored a hattrick against include Luxembourg, Lithuania (twice), Switzerland, Spain, Faroe Island, Andorra, Armenia, Sweden, and Northern Ireland.
Furthermore, Luxembourg are Ronaldo's favorite opponent at international level, having netted nine times against them. Other teams he has scored most against include, Lithuania, Sweden, Andorra, and Hungary. Messi on the other hand has scored most goals against counties like, Bolivia, Ecuador, Uruguay, Chile, Brazil, and Paraguay, and it should be noted that all these teams which Messi normally scored against at will are capable of upsetting Portugal, at least, it was Uruguay that ended Ronaldo's dream of winning the World cup in 2018.
Considering these, one can definitely say that Ronaldo had all the big numbers he has because he has always had to play against teams of low qualities; therefore, he has not been more successful than Messi, only that he has been opportune.
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