Messi vs Ronaldo on FIFA 21: How football titans' ratings compare

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FIFA 21 Lionel Messi Cristiano Ronaldo
EA Sports/Goal composite
They have battled it out in the real world and the veterans of the game also find themselves neck-and-neck in virtual reality

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo may be getting on as far as their playing careers are concerned, but the pair remain the best two footballers in the world.

That reality is reflected in EA Sports' new FIFA 21 game, with the perennial rivals boasting the top ratings as they continue to outshine young pretenders like Kevin De Bruyne and Neymar.

The gap is closing, of course, and time will eventually catch up to each of them, but they are the standard bearers for now.

How exactly do they compare on FIFA 21 and who is better? Goal takes a closer look at Messi and Ronaldo's ratings on the game.

Contents

  1. What is Lionel Messi's FIFA 21 rating?
    1. Lionel Messi in-depth FIFA 21 attributes
  2. What is Cristiano Ronaldo's FIFA 21 rating?
    1. Cristiano Ronaldo in-depth FIFA 21 attributes
  3. How do Lionel Messi & Cristiano Ronaldo compare on FIFA 21?

What is Lionel Messi's FIFA 21 rating?

Messi is rated 93 overall in FIFA 21, which makes him the best player in the game. Interesingly, the Argentine's rating has actually gone down one from his rating in FIFA 20, which was 94.

Attributes Rating
Overall 93
Pace 85
Shooting 92
Passing 91
Dribbling 95
Defending 38
Physical 65

Despite his advancing years, Messi's pace remains relatively high at 85, though it has dropped two points from what it was FIFA 20. 

His dribbling, shooting and passing ability marks him out as the best in the game, but even these attributes have fallen slightly from the previous edition.

Messi's dribbling is now 95 (down one from the 96 of FIFA 20) and his passing is 91 (down one), but his shooting attribute remains the same at 92.

Lionel Messi in-depth FIFA 21 attributes

  • Skill moves: ⭐️  4
  • Weak foot: ⭐️  4
  • Att. work rate: Medium
  • Def. work rate: Low
  • Preferred foot: Left
  • Age: 33
  • Nationality: Argentina
Attribute Rating Attribute Rating
Acceleration 91 Agility 91
Sprint Speed 80 Balance 95
Positioning 93 Reactions 94
Finishing 95 Ball control 96
Shot Power 86 Dribbling 96
Long Shots 94 Composure 96
Volleys 88 Interceptions 40
Penalties 75 Heading accuracy 70
Vision 95 Marking 32
Crossing 85 Standing tackle 35
FK Accuracy 94 Sliding tackle 24
Short passing 91 Jumping 68
Long Passing 91 Stamina 72
Curve 93 Strength 69
    Aggression 44

What is Cristiano Ronaldo's FIFA 21 rating?

Ronaldo's FIFA 21 rating is 92, which makes him the second best player on the game, just behind Messi.

Attributes Rating
Overall 92
Pace 89
Shooting 93
Passing 81
Dribbling 89
Defending 35
Physical 77

It is the second FIFA game in succession that Ronaldo's overall rating has dropped, having gone down from 94 in FIFA 19 to 93 in FIFA 20.

The Portugal star's pace, passing and physical ratings have all dropped one point. His pace is down from 90 to 89 and his passing is now 81, having been 82 in the last game.

It is perhaps no surprise that his physical rating is down from 78 to 77 too, considering he is now 35.

Cristiano Ronaldo in-depth FIFA 21 attributes

  • Skill moves: ⭐️  5
  • Weak foot: ⭐️  4
  • Att. work rate: High
  • Def. work rate: Low
  • Preferred foot: Right
  • Age: 35
  • Nationality: Portugal
Attribute Rating Attribute Rating
Acceleration 87 Agility 87
Sprint Speed 91 Balance 71
Positioning 95 Reactions 95
Finishing 95 Ball control 92
Shot Power 94 Dribbling 88
Long Shots 93 Composure 95
Volleys 86 Interceptions 29
Penalties 84 Heading accuracy 90
Vision 82 Marking 28
Crossing 84 Standing tackle 32
FK Accuracy 76 Sliding tackle 24
Short passing 82 Jumping 95
Long Passing 77 Stamina 84
Curve 81 Strength 78
    Aggression 63

How do Lionel Messi & Cristiano Ronaldo compare on FIFA 21?

There is not a lot of difference between Messi and Ronaldo on FIFA 21, but there are a few notable areas where one is better than the other.

Messi's dribbling ability is better than Ronaldo's (96 yo 88), but the Piemonte Calcio star has a higher 'skill move' rating, boasting a five-star rating to Messi's four stars.

The Argentine's 'skill move' rating is also worse than that of Neymar, Memphis Depay, Kylian Mbappe and Jadon Sancho, among others.

Given Messi's vastly superior haul of assists throughout his career, it is no surprise that the Barca captain is a better passer of the ball on the game. His overall passing rating is 91 to Ronaldo's 81, with his vision attribute blowing his Portuguese counterpart out of the water (95 against 82).

Interestingly, Messi's acceleration is better than Ronaldo's (91 to 87), but Ronaldo's sprint speed is much better (91 to 80), meaning he is quite a bit quicker off the mark.

Both players like to stand over free kicks for their clubs, but there is little doubt as to who the better set-piece taker is, with Messi boasting a FK accuracy rating of 94 to Ronaldo's 76. In fact, Messi is considered the best free kick taker on the game.

Ronaldo does have a natural edge on Messi when it comes to heading the ball - perhaps unsurprisingly considering his greater height - with a rating of 90 for heading accuracy and 95 for jumping.

Messi did score a header in a Champions League final, but that is not his forte, with heading accuracy of 70 and a jumping attribute of 68.

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