Who comes out on top when the capital club meet the Catalan giants? Goal brings you the stats
El Clasico, when Spain’s totemic clubs Real Madrid and Barcelona collide, is one of the most eagerly anticipated football derbies in the world.
In Spain it is more than just a football match; it is a clash of cultures, a wrangling of ideologies and, of course, a showdown between the best footballers in the world.
Cristiano Ronaldo versus Lionel Messi had been the main event as the world tuned in to decide who the supreme deity in the pantheon of the beautiful game was.
However, that is no longer the case following Ronaldo’s move to Juventus in the summer of 2018. Nevertheless, they held quite a joust for the guts of a decade.
Neither player will feature in the upcoming encounter between the clubs, but Goal takes a look at the stats to see who comes out on top in the Clasico.
When it comes to Clasico success, Messi has been on the winning side more often than Ronaldo, winning 17 matches against Real in all competitions.
The Argentine has played against Barca’s bitter rivals 38 times in his career across a number of competitions. Of those 38 matches, Messi has tasted defeat 12 times and drawn on nine occasions.
La Liga is Messi’s happiest hunting ground for Clasico success, with 13 of the 17 victories coming in that competition.
In the Champions League, Messi has never lost to Real Madrid, with a win and a draw in the two games he appeared in.
Ronaldo’s success in Clasico games pales in comparison to Messi’s, but it must be said that the Portuguese played in fewer encounters, having joined Real in 2009 – a number of seasons after Messi’s breakthrough at Barca.
The 33-year-old was on the winning side just eight times in 30 Clasicos during his time at the Santiago Bernabeu, losing 14 and drawing eight.
Even allowing for the fact that Messi has played in eight more games, Ronaldo’s win percentage of 26.7% is significantly lower than Messi’s 44.7%.
Again, Messi comes out on top in terms of Clasico goals scored, hitting the back of the net 26 times in 38 games between the sides.
Most of those goals have come in La Liga, with 18 strikes in 24 appearances, six coming in six Supercopa games and two in the Champions League.
The only competition in which Messi has not scored against Madrid is the Copa del Rey, having been kept quiet in six matches.
Ronaldo is eight goals behind Messi in Clasico appearances with 18, but, again, it is worth noting that the reigning Ballon d’Or winner featured in eight fewer games than his rival.
Messi’s goal-to-game ratio is marginally better than Ronaldo’s (0.68 to 0.60), even though his Portuguese counterpart attempts more shots per game.
Once again, Messi blows Ronaldo out of the water in terms of teeing up team-mates in Clasico matches.
In addition to scoring 25 himself, the 30-year-old has set up 14 goals in his 37 Clasico appearances.
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In 29 appearances against Barcelona for Real Madrid, Ronaldo has supplied an assist for only one goal, which is damning when set next to Messi’s contribution to Barca.
As well as that, the former Manchester United man is statistically less creative, conjuring just 15 chances in comparison to Messi’s 68.
He may have come up second best to Ronaldo in terms of trophies and individual awards in the last few years, but Messi is the undisputed king of the Clasico.
The Argentine has scored more goals, provided more assists and found himself on the winning side more often when Barca and Real face off.
Messi has a better goal-to-game ratio and the statistics clearly demonstrate that he contributes more to the overall team effort at Barca than Ronaldo does for Madrid.