Ronaldo 4-0 Messi: Cristiano makes flying start at Man Utd

Martin Macdonald

For the first time in their respective careers, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi both switched clubs in the same summer in 2021.

Ronaldo, after informing Juventus of his desire to leave just a few days before the end of the transfer deadline, completed an emotional return to Manchester United.

The Red Devils reportedly beat Manchester City to the signing of the Portuguese superstar as they acted quickly to bring him to Old Trafford after learning of his availability.

It was the opposite situation for Messi, really, as the Argentine did not want to leave Barcelona.

He was forced to, though, as the Blaugrana were unable to bring him back as a new player after the expiration of his contract, as at that time during the summer they were banned from registering new players until their wage bill was drastically reduced.

Messi subsequently completed a sensational transfer to Paris Saint-Germain.

Even though the Real Madrid-Barcelona aspect of the rivalry is gone and has been for a few years, the pair are still compared and contracted every season.

Here is how they match up in 2021/22 so far.


Ronaldo v Messi

Ronaldo couldn't have wished for a better return to Manchester United, really, as he scored two goals on his second debut for the club, having featured at Old Trafford between 2003 and 2009.

He was put straight into the starting line-up against Newcastle after the international break, and scored his first via a predatory finish from close range, while his second was slammed into the net through the arms of the keeper.

The Portuguese looked vibrant and eager to get involved build-up play, too, which is not something he has done too much at Juventus over the past year.

A few days later, he would make his European debut against Young Boys, and although Man Utd eventually lost 2-1, it was Ronaldo who opened the scoring by squeezing a finish home at the front post following a gorgeous assist from Bruno Fernandes.

And Ronaldo continued his stunning start to life back at Old Trafford by scoring for the third game in a row at West Ham. He scored at the second attempt from close range to level the scores at 1-1 in the first half.

As for Messi, he hasn't actually started a game in Ligue 1 yet and came off the bench for his debut versus Stade de Reims. In his cameo appearance, he displayed some neat touches and passes without exerting himself too much.

His first PSG start came on Champions League matchday one as the French giants travelled to take on Club Brugge.

Messi looked bright when he had the ball and came very close to opening his account with a vintage curled effort towards the top corner that just struck the top of the crossbar.

He started alongside both Neymar and Mbappe in that one, and it is clear the trio will need more time together before they start to gel.

Ronaldo 4-0 Messi so far!