CRISTIANO Ronaldo’s goal against Juventus saw him eclipse Lionel Messi as the Champions League’s all-time top goalscorer – only to see the Barcelona star overtake him with two goals against Bayern Munich.
2005/06: Messi 1-0 Ronaldo
Messi scored his first Champions League goal for Barcelona in a 5-0 win over Panathinaikos, his fifth appearance for Barcelona in the competition. However, his season ended prematurely when he was injured against Chelsea in March and he did not feature again as Barcelona went on to beat Arsenal in the final.
Ronaldo scored in a 3-0 victory for Manchester United over Debrecen in a qualifying-round match in August 2005 but that goal does not count in UEFA’s official statistics. Incredibly, he completed his third season of playing in the Champions League proper with 18 appearances to his name, but no goals.
OVERALL SCORE: MESSI 1-0 RONALDO
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2006/07: Messi 1-3 Ronaldo
It took Ronaldo a further nine Champions League appearances to break his duck in the competition. In his 27th appearance he scored twice in a 7-1 win over Roma and then also scored against AC Milan in the semi-final to take his tally to three.
Messi only struck once in the 2006/07 Champions League season in a 1-1 group stage draw with Werder Bremen, allowing Ronaldo to lead the race for the first time.
OVERALL SCORE: MESSI 2-3 RONALDO
2007/08: Messi 6-8 Ronaldo
Ronaldo extended his lead in the goals race during Manchester United’s triumphant Champions League season of 2007/08. He scored five times in the group stage and sealed his season with a goal in the final against Chelsea in Moscow, even though he missed his kick in the penalty-shoot-out. The only round in which he failed to score was the semi-final – when United overcame Messi’s Barcelona.
Messi managed to score six times in Barcelona’s run to the semi-finals with three of those goals coming against Scottish sides Rangers and Celtic. However, he drew a blank when he came up against Ronaldo and Manchester United in the semis.
2008/09: Messi 9-4 Ronaldo
Messi assumed control of the goals race in 2008/09 as he netted nine times for Barcelona, including a goal against Ronaldo and Manchester United in the final at Wembley as Pep Guardiola steered his team to European glory.
In Ronaldo’s final season with Manchester United, he scored four European goals including one in each leg of the semi-final against Arsenal, but could not find the target in the Wembley final.
OVERALL SCORE: MESSI 17-15 RONALDO
2009/10: Messi 8-7 Ronaldo
Ronaldo’s move to Real Madrid in the summer of 2009 meant comparisons with Messi were made more regularly than ever, but the Barcelona player won the goals battle in Europe that season. Ronaldo scored six times in the group stage and once against Lyon in the last 16, but could not stop his side going out at that stage.
Barcelona reached the semi-finals and Messi made his mark on the competition with four goals in the second leg of the quarter-final with Arsenal – his first hat-trick in the competition.
OVERALL SCORE MESSI 25-22 RONALDO
Real Madrid’s Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates his goal against Juve.
2010/11: Messi 12-6 Ronaldo
Messi broke double figures for the first time in a Champions League season as Barcelona lifted the trophy in 2011. He scored in every round, including the final against Manchester United and he hit two goals in the Bernabeu to knock out Real Madrid and Ronaldo in the semi-finals.
Ronaldo could only manage half of Messi’s tally that season – with his six strikes including goals home and away against Tottenham in the quarter-finals – and once again he was unable to score against a side featuring Messi when they met in the semis.
OVERALL SCORE MESSI 37-28 RONALDO
2011/12: Messi 14-10 Ronaldo
Messi broke his own record for goals in a Champions League season as he scored 14 times in Barcelona’s run to the semi-finals, where they lost to Chelsea. His feats included a hat-trick against Viktoria Plzen in the group stage and five goals in a 7-1 win at home to Bayer Leverkusen in the last 16.
Ronaldo hit double figures for the first time in a European season, but his brace in a second-leg home win over Bayern Munich was not enough to prevent his side going out. His efforts left him 13 goals behind Messi in their overall European battle.
OVERALL SCORE: MESSI 51-38 RONALDO
2012/13: Messi 8-12 Ronaldo
Ronaldo outscored Messi in a Champions League season for the first time since 2007/08 as he struck a personal best of 12 goals in Real Madrid’s run to the semi-finals. He was also able to celebrate his first Champions League hat-trick, which came in a 4-1 group stage win at Ajax.
Messi hit braces against Spartak Moscow (twice) and AC Milan before coming off the bench to help rescue Barcelona in the quarter-final with PSG. Injury issues hampered Messi in the semi-finals as his side was thrashed by Bayern Munich, but he still ended the season with a nine-goal lead over Ronaldo in European competition and climbed to second on the Champions League’s all-time scoring list behind Raul.
OVERALL SCORE: MESSI 59-50 RONALDO
2013/14: Messi 8-17 Ronaldo
Messi scored his fourth Champions League hat-trick in a group stage clash with Ajax as his eight goals helped Barcelona to the semi-finals, but he was overshadowed by Ronaldo’s sensational scoring exploits.
Ronaldo struck his second tournament hat-trick against Galatasaray in the group stage and smashed Messi’s record for the most goals in a single Champions League season as he struck 17 times in Real Madrid’s run to a 10th European Cup, including the fourth in final win over Atletico Madrid. That goal saw him draw level with Messi on 67 goals.
OVERALL SCORE: MESSI 67-67 RONALDO
2014/15: Messi 10-9 Ronaldo (so far…)
The duo started the season looking to be the first to match – and then beat – Raul’s goals record of 71. Messi reached the target first when he hit a brace against Ajax in the group stage on November 5 and then he broke the record in style with a hat-trick – his fifth in the Champions League – against APOEL on November 25.
Ronaldo fought back in the personal duel and his goal in Tuesday’s 2-1 defeat to Juventus saw him overtake his rival once again – but it only lasted 24 hours as Messi scored twice against Bayern Munich in the Nou Camp. They could yet come face to face in the final in Berlin on June 6…
OVERALL SCORE: MESSI 77-76 RONALDO.