Lionel Messi cuts the gap to Cristiano Ronaldo: The current standings for international goals


Cristiano Ronaldo is still the leading scorer in international football, netting 117 goals in 187 games for Portugal, but Lionel Messi cuts the gap by beating Estonia five times in a friendly on Sunday.

The Argentina captain still has 86 goals in 162 games, placing him fourth on the list of players and means he is now ahead of Hungary’s Ferenc Puskas, who has scored 84.

The all-time ranking of national team goalscorers

  1. Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal): 117 goals
  2. Ali Daei (Iran): 109 goals
  3. Mokhtar Dahari (Malaysia): 89 goals
  4. Lionel Messi (Argentina): 86 goals
  5. Ferenc Puskas (Hungary and Spain): 84 goals
  6. Godfrey Chitalu (Zambia) – 79 goals
  7. Hussein Saeed (Iraq) – 78 goals
  8. Pelé (Brazil) – 77 goals
  9. Ali Mabkhout (UAE) – 76 goals
  10. Sandor Kocsis (Hungary) – 75 goals

Can Messi catch Ronaldo for international goals?

Lionel Messi still closely follows Ronaldo in this sense, following his long-time rival with 31 goals.

Although Messi is only 34 years old and two years younger than Ronaldo, it is unlikely the No.10 will hold the Portuguese captain, as Lionel Messi could retire from Argentina after the World Cup in Qatar.

However, Lionel Messi will make the podium with just three more goals and could catch Ali Daei‘s 109 goals if he keeps producing performances like that of Sunday night.

That display showed that Lionel Messi has what it takes to bully weaker international sides and left some fans wondering how many the forward might have scored had he not been with a Latin American national team all his career, where the World Cup qualifiers are notoriously more difficult than the European qualifiers.

Looking at Lionel Messi and Ronaldo’s minute statistics around the world, Ronaldo scored a 127-minute goal for the Selecao, while Messi did this in 156 minutes for Albiceleste.

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