The soccer world has witnessed some of the best players over the years. Lucky are the soccer fans who could see Pelé, Maradona, Ferenc Puskás, Alfredo Di Stéfano, Lev Yashin take the field. These are just a few names, but the list goes on. As the years went by, more and more players came, but some were gifted.

The term GOAT (Greatest Of All Time) is used in every sport to refer to the best athlete in the game. Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have been the elite players in soccer in the last two decades. Their performance for their clubs and the national teams is just breathtaking. One question that every soccer fans have is, “Who is the GOAT of Soccer?”

This topic has been making the headlines for the past few years. We at Football Toast will try to get it answered in this article. Keep reading to learn more about the GOAT of soccer.

Cristiano Ronaldo Career Debut

Cristiano Ronaldo made his debut as a Sporting CP first-team player at the age of 17. He earlier played for the youth team but got promoted to the senior squad thanks to his performance. In his debut season, he scored three goals for Sporting.

The Portuguese attracted interest from several top clubs at an early age. Liverpool, Arsenal and Real Madrid showed interest in the talented player, but Alex Ferguson was the quickest to hijack the deal. Manchester United paid £12.24 million to sign Ronaldo. Ferguson described him as “one of the best young player he has ever seen”.

Lionel Messi Early Career

Lionel Messi also started his professional career at the age of 17 with FC Barcelona. Before getting promoted to the senior squad, the Argentinian forward played for Barcelona C and B. In his debut season, Leo played seven games for Barça, scoring once.

The Rise Of Ronaldo And Messi

As the years went by, both Ronaldo and Messi grew as soccer players. Their performances for both club and country improved. Just one year after getting promoted to the senior squads, their inclusion in the starting lineup became obvious.

Lionel Messi has spent 17 seasons at FC Barcelona. At the time of writing, Messi is still a Barcelona player.

Cristiano Ronaldo, on the other hand, moved to different clubs throughout his career. He played for six seasons at Manchester United. Ronaldo then joined Spanish giants Real Madrid in 2009, where the latter stayed for nine consecutive seasons. The Portuguese forward recently moved to Juventus, where he has already spent three seasons.

Without wasting further time, we will now dive into the career statistics of both players.

A Look At Some Incredible Statistics

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi career statistics are unmatchable. The performance of both players is simply out of this world. They are gifted players, made to play soccer.

In a total of 896 appearances for the different clubs he has played for, Ronaldo has scored a whopping 674 goals. As for his national side, the Portuguese forward has scored 103 goals from 173 appearances. These are his career statistics at the time of writing.

In 778 appearances for Barcelona, Lionel Messi has scored a breathtaking 672 goals. These statistics do not include his time playing for Barcelona C and B. While on international duty, Messi has scored 71 times in 142 appearances.

Besides scoring goals, both players have over 250 assists registered to their names to date.

Major Trophies Won

The number of trophies won by both players is just incredible. Ronaldo has won a total of 30 trophies to date with the different clubs he played. As for Messi, he has won 34 trophies with Barcelona. These figures represent the number of trophies won by both players as of May 26, 2021.

While on international duty, Ronaldo has won two trophies with his national side. They are the 2016 UEFA European Championship and the 2018-19 UEFA Nations League.

Messi has also won two trophies with his national side. They are the 2005 FIFA U20 World Cup and the 2008 Summer Olympics.

Cristiano Ronaldo Trophy Cabinet

Manchester UnitedEnglish Premier League2006–07, 2007–08, 2008–09
FA Cup2003–04
Football League Cup2005–06, 2008–09
FA Community Shield2007
UEFA Champions League2007–08
FIFA Club World Cup2008
Real MadridLa Liga2011–12, 2016–17
Copa del Rey2010–11, 2013–14
Supercopa de España2012, 2017
UEFA Champions League2013–14, 2015–16, 2016–17, 2017–18
UEFA Super Cup2014, 2017
FIFA Club World Cup2014, 2016, 2017
JuventusSerie A2018–19, 2019–20
Coppa Italia2020–21
Supercoppa Italiana2018, 2020

Lionel Messi Trophy Cabinet

FC BarcelonaLa Liga2004–05, 2005–06, 2008–09, 2009–10, 2010–11, 2012–13, 2014–15, 2015–16, 2017–18, 2018–19
Copa del Rey2008–09, 2011–12, 2014–15, 2015–16, 2016–17, 2017–18, 2020–21
Supercopa de España2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2016, 2018
UEFA Champions League2005–06, 2008–09, 2010–11, 2014–15
UEFA Super Cup2009, 2011, 2015
FIFA Club World Cup2009, 2011, 2015

Individual Honours

The number of individual honours that both Ronaldo and Messi has is phenomenal. They have won numerous trophies throughout their career. One of the most prominent awards won by both players is the FIFA Ballon d’Or.

Cristiano Ronaldo has won the FIFA Ballon d’Or on five occasions, while Lionel Messi has won the same trophy six times. You will have a detailed overview of the different awards won by both players in the table below.

AwardsCristiano RonaldoLionel Messi
FIFA Ballon d’Or2008, 2013, 2014, 2016, 20172009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2019
FIFA World Player Of The Year20082009
The Best FIFA Men’s Player2016, 20172019
European Golden Shoe2007–08, 2010–11, 2013–14, 2014–152009–10, 2011–12, 2012–13, 2016–17, 2017–18, 2018–19
FIFA Club World Cup Golden Ball20162009, 2011

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have both won many individual awards. We have listed only the most prestigious ones.

Who Is The GOAT?

The career statistics of both Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi is just incredible. Their performances for both club and country are tough to match by any player.

Their trophies and awards also show that these two players are unique in their respective way. From a soccer point of view, it is not easy to decide who is the GOAT of soccer between Ronaldo and Messi. We at Football Toast believes that it will be unfair to pick one player based on preference.

It will take years for another player to achieve what these two players have accomplished in their career. Let us appreciate the chance to watch these two living soccer legends take on the pitch week in week out.


  • Date accessed: May 23, 2021. Wikipedia. Cristiano Ronaldo:
  • Date accessed: May 26, 2021. Wikipedia. Lionel Messi: