Today was a day which was marked with two outrageous free-kick goals, one from Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo and one from Argentinian maestro Lionel Messi.
After his incredible effort against Liechtenstein in the UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying match, Cristiano Ronaldo has now scored 60 career free-kick goals, two fewer than Lionel Messi’s total of 62. A few hours after Ronaldo scored, the Argentine captain joined the celebration by adding to the tally with a spectacular long-range free-kick in the final moments of play.
Cristiano Ronaldo was a magnificent free-kick taker during the early stages of his career. However, he has struggled a bit in recent years. The Portuguese has now scored in back-to-back games from free-kicks.
He scored against Liechtenstein as well after scoring earlier in the week while representing Al-Nassr against Abha.
Lionel Messi’s free kick scoring total is now within Ronaldo’s reach.
Lionel Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo: Free-kick Tally
Both Messi and Ronaldo have had somewhat curious journeys when it comes to their free kick scoring records.
Cristiano Ronaldo became known for scoring fairly outrageous free kick goals at quite a young age during his Manchester United career – in fact his first United goal was from a free kick. Some years later, he introduced the famous “knuckleball” technique from free-kicks.
Lionel Messi became Barcelona’s all time leading goalscorer in March 2012, at which point he had scored just five free kick goals. Then, everything changed for Messi, as he went on to score seven in 2012 alone, before averaging 6 free kick goals each year for the next 7 years.
Lionel Messi free-kick goals: 62
Cristiano Ronaldo free-kick goals: 60