LION HUNT CRISTIANO RONALDO’S move to Saudi Arabia means Lionel Messi has the chance to establish himself as the best player in Champions League history once and for all.
Ronaldo left Europe for the first time in his career to sign for Al-Nassr for £173million a year.
Lionel Messi is hunting down several of Cristiano Ronaldo’s Champions League records
Ronaldo is the best goalscorer in Champions League history
Meanwhile, Messi could win the Champions League with Paris Saint-Germain this season.
That would edge him closer to one record Ronaldo holds – most Champions League wins.
The pair have gone toe-to-toe in the competition for the past 16 years and Ronaldo has come out on top in several departments.
But now CR7 is unlikely to play another Champions League game, Messi has the chance to wrestle some records off his rival.
Here are the records Ronaldo holds and what Messi must do to erase the Portuguese from the history books.
Most Champions League appearances: 183
Messi is some way behind Ronaldo with 161 Champions league appearances.
But he has time on his side and could end the current campaign with seven more games under his belt if PSG reach the final.
Most Champions League goals: 140
Messi has also scored fewer goals than his rival, which is not surprising given the difference in appearances.
But the Argentine will fancy his chances of claiming this record as he sits on 129 goals, with four in five games this season.
Most goals in a Champions League season: 17 (2013-14)
This record is a trickier proposition for Messi, who has never scored more than 14 goals in a single Champions League campaign – managing that feat in 2011-12.
The forward was at the peak of his powers then too so is perhaps unlikely to take Ronaldo’s throne in this category.
Most goals in Champions League knockout stages: 67
The pair are in a league of their own when it comes to knock-out stage goals and it will take a lot for Messi to pip Ronaldo.
He has 49 in total so it would take an extraordinary effort for the 35-year-old to overtake Ronaldo.
UEFA Champions League top scorer: 7 times
Messi is just one behind having won the golden boot on six occasions, but last managed the feat in 2018-19.
He has four goals this term and has some catching up to do with PSG team-mate Kylian Mbappe and Liverpool’s Mo Salah leading the way with seven goals each.
Most UEFA Champions League wins: 5
Barcelona dominated the Champions League for years and Messi has four winners’ medals to show for it.
But PSG are yet to win the competition so it would be some achievement for Messi to add two more titles to his collection to overtake Ronaldo.
Only player to score in three UEFA Champions League finals
Messi is just one behind the former Real Madrid star in this category having twice scored against Manchester United in 2009 and 2011.
Could he add a third final goal this season?
One of only two players to score in all six games in a UEFA Champions League group
Sebastien Haller is the only player who can compete with Ronaldo in this category.
Messi got four goals in three different group games this year, failing to score in either game against Juventus – so he has work to do.
Only player to score in 11 straight UEFA Champions League games
Ronaldo’s astonishing record will likely remain intact for years to come.
The most Messi has managed is scoring in five consecutive Champions League games, which he managed in 2014 and in 2016.
Most UEFA Club Footballer/Best Player/Men’s Player awards: 4
Messi could equal Ronaldo’s record if he wins the Champions League player of the season award this term.
Most appearances in UEFA.com users’ Team of the Year: 15
Messi missed out on the team of the year last season but has made the cut on 12 occasions.
That is set to rise to 13 if he continues the terrific form he showed in the group stages.