This season, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have received a lot of flak.
In the summer, both GOAT opponents switched clubs, with Ronaldo, 37, returning to Manchester United and Messi, 34, joining Paris Saint-Germain.
Neither star has had the best season of their careers – far from it.
They have, however, had excellent campaigns by the standards of normal mortals.
While the next generation of superstars such as Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe strive to replace Messi and Ronaldo, the old guard still has much to give.
Who, on the other hand, has had a better season? SunSport takes a look at the numbers that matter…
So frequently, strikers are judged only on their ability to score goals, and Ronaldo is unquestionably the best in the world at it.
This season, the Portuguese striker has 22 goals for Man Utd, while Messi has nine – both with two penalties each.
But, unlike Ronaldo, Messi is surrounded by great teammates and may forego goal-scoring in order to set up his teammates.
And the Argentine has ten more assists this season than Ronaldo, who has three.
In total, Ronaldo has been involved in three additional goals, bringing his total to 25 vs 22.
However, he’s played more minutes, and Messi has a better minutes per goal involvement ratio (114.2 vs. 118 for Ronaldo).
In terms of shooting, Ronaldo has been more accurate than his opponent and has converted his attempts at a higher percentage.
United’s star has hit the target 54.5 percent of the time, compared to Messi’s 45.8%, while also scoring 16.5 percent of the time.
The PSG player’s conversion rate is abysmally low, at just 9.1%.
Messi, on the other hand, outdribbles and outpasses his old opponent.
This season, the Argentine legend has completed 86.1 percent of all passes, compared to 82.2 percent for Ronaldo.
Messi has also had better success with the ball, completing 60.6 percent of his dribbles compared to United’s 56.6 percent.
So, who has had the better overall season?
To put it another way, they’re both doing what their teams require.
Man United are in serious need of a striker, since Ralf Rangnick is severely lacking in that department, while Mauricio Pochettino has a star-studded front-three in Messi, Mbappe, and Neymar.
We’re quick to compare them to legends as fans, but the fact that they’re still playing at such a high level is inspiring.
Let’s enjoy it while we still can.