Barcelona forward Lionel Messi equals Cristiano Ronaldo’s free-kick record.
Messi scored his 48th direct free kick goal for Barcelona on Sunday in a 2-1 comeback win over Valencia. The goal takes his career haul to 56 direct free kick goals and on level terms with Juventus striker Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Argentine was trailing behind his longtime rival Ronaldo –who scored 32 direct free kick goals for Real Madrid during his time in Spain– but has now come to level terms with the Juventus man.
Ronaldo versus Messi free kick goals (the stats)
Cristiano Ronaldo (free kick stats)
As at the time of filing, Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 56 goals from direct free kicks in his career. 32 of those goals came during his time at Real Madrid, while 13 was scored for Manchester United. Ronaldo currently has 1 free goal for Juventus, while his tally for the Portuguese National team stands at 10.
Although it is still an incredible haul for CR7, his free kick conversion rate has greatly declined. The veteran used to be a feared marksman from dead balls from any range. However, Ronaldo now reaps more rewards from penalty kicks than free kicks.
Lionel Messi (free kick stats)
Barcelona captain, Lionel Messi on the other hand has greatly improved his free kick conversion rate in recent seasons. He recently broke Ronaldo’s record for the most club career free kicks goals, scoring his 48 direct free kick goal for Barcelona in a 2-1 win over Valencia on in May, 2021.
Messi is now considered lethal from set pieces, with his left boot able to pick either top corners much to goalkeepers dismay. Messi now has 56 goals from direct free kicks in his career, equal with Ronaldo.
Who is the best free kick taker, Messi or Ronaldo?
Both players have proven to be prolific from free kicks at different points during their careers. While Ronaldo was more prolific in his 20’s, Messi became a free kick specialist in his 30’s.
It is difficult to call who is the best free kick taker, especially since they have the same number of goals. Your choice would be dependent on whose style you prefer. Ronaldo favors power and precision, while Lionel Messi prefers curlers.