An analytic analysis on Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi stats
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25.02.2012 » An analytic analysis on Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi stats

Cristiano Ronaldo vs Lionel Messi stats comparison in 2011 and 2012, while playing for Real Madrid and Barcelona in the Spanish League La Liga

After looking at Cristiano Ronaldo stats from last season and cross-check them with this year's numbers, it seems safe to say that the Portuguese superstar keeps improving remarkably as a player. A deep and individual analytical analysis is provided below and we'll also be looking at Barcelona's Lionel Messi stats in order to set a sort of benchmark comparison. All the data gathered is confined to the Spanish League spectrum.

Cristiano Ronaldo simply doesn't cease to amaze. After an outstanding 2010/2011 season, where he already broke several records including La Liga's all-time highest goalscoring mark by scoring 40 goals, this season Ronaldo could very well be on the verge of making History once again. We looked at Ronaldo's La Liga stats in the 2010-2011 season and compared them with the ones from this season. Numbers don't seem to lie on this study, as the Portuguese player improved in almost every possible scenario. Unavoidably, we did the same for Lionel Messi and the results seen on this article might be a bit surprising for a few people.

Cristiano Ronaldo vs Lionel Messi 2012 wallpaper, with a Real Madrid and Barcelona game theme

It's important to start by noting that all the data has been collected/gathered from La Liga's official website (ligabbva.com) and for that reason being, we'll limit all our analysis exclusively to the Spanish League. Let's then start by looking at the raw numbers obtained by Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, for both last season (2010-2011) and the current one (2011-12), but not comparing them just yet.

www.RONALDO7.net: Ronaldo vs Messi - Stats table I
Season: 2011-2012
Cristiano Ronaldo
Lionel Messi
La Liga matches so far
23
23
Games played
23
23
Minutes played
2084
2076
Goals
28
27
Assists
7
8
Shots on Target
63
70
Passes
824
1267
Balls recovered
38
29
Balls lost
219
294
Offsides
15
17
Fouls commited
19
18
Fouls suffered
57
46
Yellow cards
4
4

 

www.RONALDO7.net: Ronaldo vs Messi - Stats table II
Season: 2010-2011
Cristiano Ronaldo
Lionel Messi
La Liga matches
38
38
Games played
34
35
Minutes played
3037
2975
Goals
40
31
Assists
9
17
Shots on Target
104
77
Passes
1045
1927
Balls recovered
42
51
Balls lost
391
358
Offsides
16
18
Fouls commited
23
20
Fouls suffered
82
55
Yellow cards
2
2

Last year, Ronaldo wiped out several records, including the one for La Liga's highest goalscorer (38), after scoring 40 goals out of 34 games. Barcelona's Lionel Messi couldn't even get close, as he only managed to hit the back of the net for 31 times, from the 35 games that he stepped on to the pitch. In the other hand, the Argentinian pulled of 17 assists for goals, while the Portuguese player only had 9 for the same time being. In terms of passes, Messi had nearly the double when looking at Ronaldo's numbers (1927 vs 1045) and also managed to recover more balls (51 vs 42) and lose possession less times than CR7 (358 vs 391).

Cristiano Ronaldo playing against Lionel Messi, in a Barcelona vs Real Madrid game, in 2011-2012

This season's figures seem to have been changing a bit, as Cristiano Ronaldo not only is managing to keep his goal tally above Messi's (28 vs 27), but he also tops the Argentinian in several other parameters of the game. However, in terms of assists, Messi still doesn't get beaten by Ronaldo (8 vs 7) and it happens the same with passes (1267 vs 824), even though the gap has definitely shortened. The two teams playing style certainly keeps having a decisive role in those two stats just mentioned, but it's curious to note that even on these circumstances, the difference looks thinner than ever. As for the "balls lost" and "balls recovered" stats, tables seem to have turned and this season, it's Ronaldo who is pulling off better numbers. The Portuguese lost the ball 219 times against Messi's 294, while CR7 recovered possession 38 times against 29 from "La Pulga". Clearly an indication that Ronaldo is getting more involved in the game and that he is assuming a more proeminent role in Real Madrid.

Cristiano Ronaldo dribbling Lionel Messi, in Real Madrid vs Barcelona in La Liga 2011-2012

As we mentioned on the start, we're conducting an analytical analysis by looking at Ronaldo and Messi stats in La Liga, always having in mind the main purpose of providing an objective perspective on how their games and performances have been changing and evolving. For that reason, we've all also computed a few stats ratios that may help understanding how both Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have been developping since last season. It's precisely on this improvement aspect, that CR7 numbers leave no room for doubts, as the Portuguese excelled himself in almost every possible parameter. In the other hand and despite Lionel Messi's goalscoring record is in fact better than ever as well, he actually got worse in several other dimensions of the game.

Cristiano Ronaldo number 7 Real Madrid banner 2012

www.RONALDO7.net: Ronaldo ratios - Stats table III
Parameters:
2010/2011
Season improvements
2011/2012
Ronaldo
Ronaldo
Presences ratio
89%
+11%
100%
Average minutes played per game
89,32
+1%
90,61
Average goals per game
1,18
+3%
1,22
Average time (mins) to score
76
-2%
74
Average assists per game
0,26
+15%
0,30
Average time (mins) to assist
337
-12%
298
Shots on target per game
3,06
-10%
2,74
Shots on target efficiency (goals)
38%
+6%
44%
Passes per game
31
+17%
36
Balls recovered per game
1,24
+34%
1,65
Balls lost per game
11,50
-17%
9,52

 

Lionel Messi in Barcelona 2012, banner poster/picture

www.RONALDO7.net: Messi ratios - Stats table IV
Parameters:
2010/2011
Season improvements
2011/2012
Messi
Messi
Presences ratio
92%
+8%
100%
Average minutes played per game
85,00
+6%
90,26
Average goals per game
0,89
+33%
1,17
Average time (mins) to score
96
-20%
77
Average assists per game
0,49
-28%
0,35
Average time (mins) to assist
175
+48%
260
Shots on target per game
2,20
+38%
3,04
Shots on target efficiency (goals)
40%
-2%
39%
Passes per game
55
0%
55
Balls recovered per game
1,46
-13%
1,26
Balls lost per game
10,23
+25%
12,78

By focusing at the "Average goals per game" parameter, we can see that Ronaldo has progressed from 1.18 to 1.22, which is roughly a +3% improvement. Lionel Messi has made the bigger jump though, improving from 0.89 to 1.17 (+33%). We may then look at the "Assists per game" parameter, which is something where the Portuguese player has clearly gotten better. In 2010/11, CR7 had an average of 0.26 assists per game, while in 2011/12, the number has raised to 0.30 (+15%). Switching the focus to Messi, we immediatly note that this has been a particular area where the Argentinian has been slowing down, as he dropped from a 0.49 assists per game average, into a still remarkable 0.35 value (-28%).

Cristiano Ronaldo in a black Real Madrid jersey in 2011-2012

Still running down the lists/tables, we can identify a few others stats that called our attention. Analysing the "Passes per game" parameter, we spotted a good sign on how Ronaldo's game has changed this season. The Portuguese player averaged 31 passes per game in the entire 2010/2011 season, while now, he has a 36 passes average (+17%) in the on-going La Liga campaign. In times where many people insist in saying that Ronaldo is becoming more and more selfish, these stats and the ones mentioned in the paragraph above, somehow help proving otherwise.

Cristiano Ronaldo showing his love, devotion and passion for Real Madrid in 2012

Finally, we picked the "Ball recovered per game" and "Balls lost per game" parameters, to once again, expose some more numbers that show how Ronaldo's game has improved since last year. In 2010/11, Ronaldo had an average of 1.24 balls recovered per game, while this season, he reached the 1.65 average (+34%). On the same analysis scope, Messi decreased his contribution to Barcelona, as he lowered from an average of 1.46 to 1.26 (-13%), which is way below Ronaldo numbers in the current season campaign. Moving the focus to the "Balls lost per game" metric, the same phenomenon gets repeated, as Cristiano Ronaldo improved from a 11.5 to a 9.52 (-17%) "balls lost per game" average, while Messi started losing the ball possession a few more times than last year and saw his average numbers switching from 10.23 to 12.78 (+25%).

Cristiano Ronaldo vs Lionel Messi, in a Manchester United vs Barcelona game, for the UEFA Champions League

Real Madrid next scheduled game will be against Rayo Vallecano for the Spanish League "La Liga", next Sunday (26-02-2012). This weekend you can watch Rayo vs Real Madrid, but also Chelsea vs Bolton, as well as Manchester City vs Blackburn Rovers and Arsenal vs Tottenham, from our football live streams section. Cristiano Ronaldo is expected to be a starter against Rayo Vallecano.

Rayo Vallecano vs Real Madrid kick-off time (26-02-2012):

Jakarta (Indonesia) | GMT+7: 22:00
Spain
(Madrid) | GMT+1: 16:00
Portugal and England (Lisbon/London) | GMT+0: 15:00
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) | GMT-2: 13:00
New York (United States) | GMT-5: 10:00
Los Angeles (United States) | GMT-8: 07:00
Beijing (China) | GMT-8: 07:00

Sources: ronaldo7.net / ligabbva.com

Lionel Messi training session in Barcelona 2012

Lionel Messi photo with his 3 FIFA Balon d'Or World Player of the Year trophies/awards in 2012

Lionel Messi all wet in Barcelona 2012

Lionel Messi in Barcelona's goal celebrations in the match against Manchester United, for the UEFA Champions League final, in 2010-2011, while holding his hand to Barcelona badge on his jersey

Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid highest goalscorer in 2012

Lionel Messi with a funny hairstyle and haircut, all pulled up, in Barcelona 2012

Cristiano Ronaldo tackling and pulling Lionel Messi from behind, in Barcelona vs Real Madrid, in 2011-2012

Cristiano Ronaldo playing for Real Madrid against Bayern Munich, in the 2011-2012 pre-season

Cristiano Ronaldo in a all white Real Madrid jersey/shirt/uniform, without the bwin sponsor name and logo, in 2012

Cristiano Ronaldo fighting with Lionel Messi, in a Real Madrid vs Barcelona wallpaper, in 2012

Lionel Messi acrobatic shot, in Barcelona 2012

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi wallpaper 2012

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi together, in the FIFA World Player of the Year 2008 gala and ceremony

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi poster, in Manchester United vs Barcelona poster

Cristiano Ronaldo saluting Lionel Messi in a Portugal vs Argentina match, in 2011-2012

Lionel Messi in a Barcelona black jersey in 2012

Lionel Messi goal, in Barcelona vs Real Madrid, in 2011-2012, with Ronaldo on his knees

Cristiano Ronaldo shot/strike, in Real Madrid vs Barcelona, in 2011-2012

Cristiano Ronaldo new backheel trick, in Real Madrid 2012

Cristiano Ronaldo big jump in Real Madrid 2012

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, in a Manchester United vs Barcelona banner and wallpaper

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, in a Real Madrid vs Barcelona wallpaper 2012

Cristiano Ronaldo greeting Lionel Messi at the teams entrance, in Manchester United vs Barcelona, for the UEFA Champions League

Cristiano Ronaldo is already a Real Madrid legend in 2012

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