PORTUGAL – Cristiano Ronaldo is just 10 goals short of the world record, but he has been labelled by some as a “small-team bully” when comparing his international goals against Lionel Messi’s.
The Portugal captain added another four goals to his tally during the recent international break. Overall, he has now scored an incredible 99 times for his country, and is just 10 strikes shy of Ali Daei’s world record of 109 international goals for Iran.
Ronaldo is also 29 goals ahead of longstanding rival Messi, who has scored 70 times for Argentina so far.
However, when diving into the numbers regarding the teams Ronaldo and Messi’s goals have come against, Mundo Deportivo pointed out that only 29% of the Portuguese’s strikes were scored against teams ranked inside FIFA’s top 50, whereas 71% are against teams outside the top 50.
Messi, meanwhile, has netted 82% of his goals against countries that were ranked among the top 50 in the world.
The trend continues when looking at the goals the two superstars have scored against FIFA’s top 10 ranked nations, with Ronaldo scoring just 8% of his strikes against the best nations, while Messi netted 26% of his goals against FIFA’s top 10.
Here is a full list of Ronaldo and Messi’s international goals:
Cristiano – 99 goals
7 goals: Lithuania
5 goals: Andorra, Armenia, Latvia, Luxembourg, Sweden
4 goals: Estonia, Faroe Islands, Hungary, Netherlands
3 goals: Belgium, Denmark, Northern Ireland, Russia, Spain, Switzerland
2 goals: Azerbaijan, Bosnia, Cameroon, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Egypt, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia
1 goal: Argentina, Croatia, Ecuador, Finland, Ghana, Greece, Iceland, Iran, Morocco, New Zealand, North Korea, Panama, Poland, Serbia, Slovakia, Ukraine, Wales
Messi – 70 goals
5 goals: Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay
4 goals: Venezuela, Ecuador
3 goals: Colombia, Chile, Switzerland, Bolivia, Nigeria, Mexico, Panama, Haiti, Guatemala
2 goals: Spain, Croatia, Algeria, Hong Kong, Nicaragua
1 goal: France, Germany, Portugal, Peru, Iran, United States, Slovenia, Albania, Bosnia, Serbia