Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo Combine for 1,000 Career Goals

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistJanuary 30, 2016

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND - JANUARY 11: FIFA Ballon d'Or nominees Lionel Messi of Argentina and FC Barcelona (L) and Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal and Real Madrid (R) attend a press conference prior to the FIFA Ballon d'Or Gala 2015 at the Kongresshaus on January 11, 2016 in Zurich, Switzerland. (Photo by Philipp Schmidli/Getty Images)
Philipp Schmidli/Getty Images

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi reached another career mark with a goal against Atletico Madrid on Saturday, taking the combined career tally of him and rival Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid to 1,000 goals.

Bleacher Report UK broke down the full scoring numbers:

Per ESPN Stats & Info, Ronaldo has scored 512 for club and country, while Messi bagged his 482nd career goal against Atletico, setting the mark. Per Sky Sports' Nick Wright and Adam Smith, it took the two just 1,386 combined matches to achieve the feat.

Per Wright and Smith, Messi scored his 482 goals in 613 matches, while Ronaldo has 518 in 773 outings. Sky Sports Statto broke down some of the key statistics:

The two have served up a battle for the ages, with their rivalry reaching almost unprecedented heights since Ronaldo moved to La Liga from Manchester United in 2009.

The Portuguese star has gone on an incredible scoring run since then and currently ranks third in La Liga's all-time top scorers' rankings, behind Messi and the legendary Telmo Zarra, per Goal. Messi holds the top spot but has spent his entire senior career in Spain and is unlikely to be overtaken anytime soon.

It's rare to have two players of this calibre competing in the same era, and both Messi and Ronaldo will likely be remembered among the all-time greats when they decide to hang up their boots. The fact they played in the same league for years and routinely met several times per season only adds to the rivalry and the legacy these two will leave behind.

Football writer Jason Pettigrove put it this way:

The two are usually involved in a scoring race against each other and have split the Ballon d'Or award for best player in the world between themselves since 2008, but on this occasion, the great rivals managed to combine to do something truly special.  

 

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