After two of the biggest continental championships concluded recently, it has resulted in contrasting results for two of the greatest footballers in the history of the sport. Lionel Messi finally ended his trophy drought as he was able to achieve glory on the international stage by winning the Copa America title in Brazil. On the contrary, it was an unfortunate ending for Cristiano Ronaldo at the Euro 2020. Portugal was eliminated in the Round of 16 by Belgium, however, the star striker took home the Golden Boot of the tournament.
Meanwhile, the Ronaldo vs Messi debate, which will go on till perpetuity of our times and beyond, raged on once again. While both the superstar strikers have been synonymous with records ever since they kicked off their respective sporting careers, here we take a look at five international records of the Portuguese star which his Argentine counterpart will struggle to break.
Most international hat-trick goals: Nine
Ronaldo has a mind-numbing 56 career hat-tricks to his credit so far. Out of those 56, nine have come on the international stage representing his national side. On the other hand, Messi has just six international hat-tricks for Argentina. The Barcelona star is a long way from equalling or breaking that impressive record.
Most FIFA World Cups scored in: Four
The 2022 edition of the FIFA World Cup is likely to be the last for both players. However, Ronaldo — who has a reputation for stepping up when the stakes are high — takes the cake in this category as well. He had scored in 2006, 2010, 2014 and 2018 editions and by doing so, he joined an elite list that has the likes of Pele, Miroslav Klose and Uwe Seeler among others. On the contrary, Messi has scored in 2006, 2014 and 2018, but not in the 2010 edition.
Oldest player to score a hat-trick at FIFA World Cup:
Ronaldo became the oldest player to score a hat-trick at the 2018 FIFA World Cup. He was 33 years and 130 days old when he pulled off a mesmerizing performance in the World Cup opener against heavyweight Spain. Meanwhile, his Argentine counterpart might get a shot at the upcoming 2022 edition in Qatar. Messi’s last hat-trick for Argentina came in an international friendly against Haiti in 2018.
Only player to score in 11 successive international tournaments:
In his career spanning 15 years, the Portuguese sensation has scored at least a goal in each of the 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016 and 2020 editions of the Euros, topped them with the 2006, 2010, 2014 and 2018 FIFA World Cups. He added a few more in the 2017 FIFA Confederation Cup and the 2018 UEFA Nations League tournaments.
Most international goals scored: 109
Last but not the least, this specific record of Ronaldo will be a herculean effort to break. The Juventus’ striker equalled Iranian Ali Daei’s record of most international goals scored at Euro 2020. Both have 109 goals to their name and Ronaldo is likely to break it and make the record his own in the coming years. Meanwhile, Messi has only 76 goals to his name for Argentina and trails Ronaldo by 33 braces.