For this week's head-to-head, we look at the streaks and records that both players have amassed so far this season.
How They Played This Week
Who came out on top in the recent round of La Liga action?
Lionel Messi (Barcelona 1-0 Real Zaragoza)
In the midweek 1-0 win over Valencia, Messi scored a pivotal winner late in the game when he slotted home Adriano's cutback, after missing a number of chances including an audacious chip over Guaita which sailed over the bar.
Barcelona had to labour to another 1-0 triumph at the weekend against Zaragoza, but Messi failed to find the back of the net this time. With Bojan Krkic leading the attack, Leo took on more of a supporting role and only managed one shot on target. However, he created the winning goal when he dribbled past three defenders down the right channel to the byline, before pulling the ball back for Seydou Keita to score. It was not recorded as a direct assist as it took a touch off a defender.
Goal.com Player Ratings Comment: Created the goal with a dazzling run which made his markers look like they were on rollerskates. Probably would have buried his half-volley in the 73rd minute on another day but a decent warm-up for the Champions League.
Cristiano Ronaldo (Racing Santander 1-3 Real Madrid)
Ronaldo returned to the scoresheet in style in midweek by bagging a hat-trick against Malaga.
His first came when he traded passes with Mesut Oezil before sliding a low shot past the goalkeeper. He then onverted a penalty with a fierce shot into his top left corner, before completing his hat-trick when he connected with Sergio Canales' cross to tap the ball home at the near post from close range. He went on to substitute himself after picking up a hamstring strain.
The injury consequently ruled him out of Sunday's 3-1 win over Racing Santander, ending a remarkable streak of 26 consecutive league starts.
Goal.com Player Ratings Comment (vs Malaga): Voted Top of the Match by Goal.com editors and readers. Continues to amaze. Scorer of three goals, involved in pretty much all of the goals bar the opener. Played with a smile on his face, enjoying it. Took himself off after he scored his third, due to a possible injury.
Individual Match Stats
(vs Real Zaragoza)
(vs Malaga - midweek)
|Shots (On Target)||4 (1)||7 (6)|
|Passes (Completed)||106 (85)||32 (27)
Streaks & Records
Cristiano Ronaldo's absence on Sunday against Racing Santander ended his run of making 26 consecutive starts in La Liga this season.
Now, we look at some of the other streaks and records that both players have set in the 2010/11 league campaign.
|Consecutive league starts||11
An ankle injury early in the season, plus being handed a rest by coach Pep Guardiola for the match against Levante on matchday 18, has limited Messi’s consecutive league appearances.
Ronaldo’s hamstring injury that forced him to miss Sunday’s fixture against Racing was the first match that the Portuguese missed this season. He started all 26 La Liga games prior to his injury, totalling 2500 consecutive minutes.
From matchday eight through to match day 12, Messi was in sparkling form, netting both goals in the win over Zaragoza, then following it up with efforts against Sevilla, Getafe, Villarreal and finally with a treble against Almeria.
From matchday six through to matchday nine, Ronaldo embarked upon an astonishing run of scoring in front of goal, striking braces against Deportivo and Malaga, then a quartet of clinical finishes against Racing, before ending his run with a double against Hercules in Alicante.
|Most goals in a single game||3
Messi has struck two hat- tricks in La Liga this season: He notched a treble in the resounding 8-0 win against Almeria, then struck all three goals as he put Atletico Madrid to the sword.
Ronaldo showcased his ability to finish with unerring accuracy in the 6-1 demolition of Racing, scoring three times from inside the penalty area before adding a fourth from the penalty spot.
|Most consecutive assists||4
The Argentine created two goals in the 5-1 derby rout of Espanyol on match day 16, before providing the key pass on two occasions against Deportivo. An assist against Malaga then followed, before ended his streak by laying on a goal in the defeat of Racing.
CR7 notched up an assist each in the first three games of the season. He set-up Ricardo Carvalho's winner against Osasuna, scored from a deflected freekick against Real Sociedad, which was credited to Pepe, and assisted Gonzalo Higuain against Espanyol.
|Consecutive games without scoring||1
Messi’s sensational form in front of goal this season has meant that he is only ever one match away from netting in the Primera Division, and indeed there has only been six league matches where he has failed to find the target.
On three separate occasions, Ronaldo has failed to score in three consecutive matches: the first three games of the season; matchdays 19, 20 and 21 which saw Madrid score just twice and drop five points; while his hat-trick against Malaga last midweek ended his second run of three games without scoring.
Story of a Season
Who's had the best campaign so far in La Liga?
|Total Shots (On target)
(team total: 21,257)
(team total: 15,10)
(team total: 18,635)
(team total: 12,279)
|Goal.com's Season Average Player Ratings||7.72||7.35|
Keep track of Messi and Ronaldo's goal haul in all competitive club matches what is expected to be a record-shattering 2010/11 season...
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