Stats Show Ronaldo Has A Harder Job ‘Carrying’ Portugal Than Messi With Argentina

messi ronaldo international football

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are experiencing mixed fortunes on the international stage right now.

The former has just entered his latest Copa America campaign and has made a nightmarish start on his quest to win a first trophy with Argentina's senior team.

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On the other hand, the Juventus star is seriously loving life in a Portugal shirt and bagged his second piece of silverware with his country in the UEFA Nations League.

Ronaldo scored a spectacular hat-trick against Switzerland – just less than a year after his famous Spain treble – and captain his nation to victory in the final.

Bearing all of this in mind, fans are beginning to see the Messi vs Ronaldo dispute as something of a no-brainer when only international football is counted.

However, the debate will continue to boil as which player has to carry their country more, with both Portugal and Argentina possessing talent but falling short of the very top nations.

You would quickly think Argentina when you consider their dependence on Messi with their style of football as well as the national team's deep-rooted problems.

A few statistics might change the mind of the majority, though, and it all centres around the currency on which Ronaldo and Messi are largely judged – goals.

While Messi has the luxury of playing with a squad which has scored 72 goals, Ronaldo is standing alongside players with just 33 strikes combined. See the graphic down below:

That is to say, it seems Ronaldo has to ‘carry' Portugal far more than Messi does with Argentina.

Messi is sharing the pitch with Sergio Aguero and Angel di Maria, who have 59 goals alone, and it could've been even better if Gonzalo Higuain hadn't retired from international football.

What about Portugal? Well, staggeringly, one of their next top-scorers is actually a defender, with Pepe having totalled up seven goals in his international career.

Joao Moutinho also shares the same total, but that languishes a massive 81 goals behind those garnered by Ronaldo himself. Striking numbers.

Your next best bet is Goncalo Guedes – who has netted four times in 17 caps – but he's surprisingly the only other forward with a goal for his country.

So, there you have it, while Messi has a number of internationally-established forwards around him, Ronaldo is doing the business with a deputy striker in Pepe.

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Who do you think carries their country more – Ronaldo or Messi?

(Give Me Sport)

This article was most recently revised and updated 3 years ago

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