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Have they slowed down? Games, goals and assists following summer moves to Man United and PSG

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have been in a league of their own for the past decade winning all of football’s individual accolades between them.

Their rivalry will go down as one of the greatest in history with the duo sharing 12 of the last 13 Ballon d’Ors as well as a host of other trophies.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have both had highs and lows in 2021

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Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have both had highs and lows in 2021

Yet 2021 has proved an up and down year for them both, as Messi finally left Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain in a move that has yet to fully pay off.

He has suffered a slow start to life in France but he did win a sixth Ballon d’Or and finally secure a title with his beloved Argentina.

As for Ronaldo, he only managed to win one trophy, the Coppa Italia triumph with Juventus, and saw Portugal fail to defend their Euro crown.

But he did seal a return to his beloved Manchester United where he has already hit the ground running despite the club’s recent struggles.

So has their respective transfers seen them flourish or has age finally caught up with them?

talkSPORT.com takes a look at how Messi and Ronaldo’s 2021 compared to each other and their previous hauls from year’s gone by…

Ronaldo has still proved one of the fittest footballers around

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Ronaldo has still proved one of the fittest footballers around

Matches

Messi played 59 games for club and country, which is 11 more than the Argentine managed on international duty and for Barcelona in 2020.

Ronaldo, meanwhile, made three more with 62 appearances – which is more than he has made in 12 months since 2012!

Part of the duo’s heavier workload can be attributed to international tournaments this summer with Messi captaining Argentina to Copa America glory.

Ronaldo also skippered Portugal at Euro 2020 but couldn’t help his country defend their title as they crashed out in the round of 16.

Messi matches in a calendar year

2004: 7

2005: 21

2006: 33

2007: 55

2008: 48

2009: 64

2010: 64

2011: 70

2012: 69

2013: 47

2014: 66

2015: 61

2016: 62

2017: 64

2018: 54

2019: 58

2020: 48

2021: 59

Ronaldo matches in a calendar year

2002: 16

2003: 36

2004: 60

2005: 64

2006: 60

2007: 60

2008: 58

2009: 49

2010: 59

2011: 60

2012: 71

2013: 59

2014: 60

2015: 57

2016: 57

2017: 60

2018: 53

2019: 50

2020: 45

2021: 62

Messi is finally beginning to settle in Paris after a slow start

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Messi is finally beginning to settle in Paris after a slow start

Goals

Messi has managed just one Ligue 1 goal since joining PSG yet his tally for 2021 is still 16 more than his total haul last year.

However, coronavirus-affected 2020 aside, the six-time Ballon d’Or winner has not scored less than 50 goals in a calendar year since 2013.

As for Ronaldo, the United superstar has upped his goals for the last two years after reinventing himself as a pure out-and-out goalscorer.

CR7 has proved particularity deadly for Portugal this year, having bagged 13 goals in 14 games for his country at a rate of every 92 minutes.

Messi club goals in a calendar year

2004: 0

2005: 3

2006: 12

2007: 31

2008: 22

2009: 41

2010: 60

2011: 59

2012: 91

2013: 45

2014: 58

2015: 52

2016: 59

2017: 51

2018: 51

2019: 50

2020: 27

2021: 43

Ronaldo goals in a calendar year

2002: 5

2003: 1

2004: 13

2005: 15

2006: 25

2007: 34

2008: 35

2009: 30

2010: 48

2011: 60

2012: 63

2013: 60

2014: 61

2015: 57

2016: 55

2017: 53

2018: 49

2019: 39

2020: 44

2021: 47

Ronaldo and Messi are unquestionably two of the greatest players football has seen

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Ronaldo and Messi are unquestionably two of the greatest players football has seen

Assists

Messi’s supporters have pointed to the amount of chances he creates in addition to his own goalscoring as evidence of his supreme skill.

And the Argentina international has proved his consistency over the past three years with 18 assists in 2021 and 2019 and 19 last year.

Ronaldo, however, is much more geared towards scoring goals, with the Portuguese only managing six assists over the past 12 months.

That is one less than his total in 2020 and a far cry from the 20 he provided during his Ballon d’Or winning 2014 at Real Madrid.

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