Ever since Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have graced the footballing scene, they have been rewriting football history books with their outstanding performances. As the pair head into the year 2020, they are on the verge of racking up a few more milestones and etch their names further in the record books.
The iconic duo are hoping to anchor their respective teams to Champions League glory this season while simultaneously contesting for domestic honors in Italy and Spain. However, in this article, we will talk about the new records to be set at club and international level for both players.
Talking about Messi first –
With a record sixth Ballon d’Or secured in 2019, Lionel Messi is all set to assert his dominance on the football world in the upcoming year as well. Sportzcraazy have compiled five records that the Barcelona talisman could go on to break in 2020.
# Top goal-scorer for a single team
Often considered to be the greatest player of all time, Brazilian legend Pele holds the record for scoring the most number of goals for a single club. Between 1956 and 1974, Pele scored as many as 643 goals for Santos in Brazil. Messi, on the other hand, has 619 goals for Barcelona across competitions.
The Barcelona skipper requires only 24 goals to draw level with Pele’s number and the form that he has been displaying recently, it won’t be a big task for him to overtake the Brazilian in 2020.
# Goals in most UEFA Champions League seasons
Lionel Messi scored in his 15th consecutive UEFA Champions League in the group stage of this season’s competition and with Barcelona expected to finish at the least in the top three of the La Liga in this season, he will surely take that tally to 16. If Messi is able to do the same, then the Argentina skipper will join Manchester United legend at the summit to score in 16 UEFA Champions League seasons.
Even Messi’s arch-rival Cristiano Ronaldo has the opportunity to score in his 16th UCL season next year, which means we could see the two at the top of yet another goalscoring list.
# Most hat-tricks in UEFA Champions League
Messi alongside Ronaldo holds the record of most hat-tricks in the UEFA Champions League list with as many as eight trebles. And with the 2019/20 UCL season now entering the knockout stage, either of the duo have the chance of becoming the player with most hat-tricks in UCL.
# Overtake Telmo Zarra with record 7th Pichichi award (La Liga top goalscorer of the season)
Lionel Messi currently leads the La Liga goalscoring charts with 13 goals to his name but is ably competed by Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema who is just one goal behind Messi.
If the Barcelona ace manages to maintain his lead and end the season winning his seventh Pichichi award, he will overtake the legendary Athletic Bilbao forward Telmo Zarra who had also won six Pichichi award in a glorious career.
# Barcelona player with most El Clasico appearances
Leo Messi recently equaled his former teammate and Barcelona legend Xavi’s record of playing in most El Clasicos. And with the Argentine, currently played in 42 derbies, set to play in at least two more El Clasicos this year, he will surely overtake the legendary Spanish midfielder.
Coming to Ronaldo –
After finishing third and missing out on the UEFA Champions League this year, Cristiano Ronaldo would have his eyes set on the upcoming year with Euro 2020 and Champions League knockouts coming up next. And here are the five records that the Juventus man would be eyeing to break this year.
# All-time top international goalscorer
Second only to Iran’s legend Ali Daei who has 109 international goals to his name, CR7 has the golden opportunity to become the all-time leading international goalscorer in 2020. The Juventus striker has 99 international goals to his name and with a full year ahead, one can definitely expect Ronaldo to add 11 more goals to his international tally.
# All-time top European Championship goalscorer
Ronaldo is all set to become the all-time top goalscorer in European Championship as the former Real Madrid man is currently joint on top of the list of goalscorers in Euros along with French legend Michael Platini.
Both the players have nine goals in their vault, however, Platini’s goal came in only five matches while Ronaldo has taken 16 more matches to reach the nine-goal mark. However, in 2020 Ronaldo is expected to become the all-time leading European Championship goalscorer.
# Goal in most UEFA Champions League seasons
As mentioned earlier, Cristiano is currently tied on the second spot along with rival Messi in the list of players who have scored in the most UEFA Champions League competitions. Currently, Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs holds the record of goals in most UEFA Champions League seasons which is 16.
With Juventus all but set to take part in the Champions League 2020/21, Ronaldo will become the player with goals in most UCL campaigns, though he might have to share the spot with Messi.
# Most UEFA Champions League hat-tricks
Once again, Messi and Ronaldo are tied for a record. The duo currently are tied for the record of most UEFA Champions League hat-tricks with eight each. And with the 2019/20 UCL season now entering the knockout stage, either of the duo have the chance of becoming the player with most hat-tricks in UCL.
# First-ever player to top score in EPL, La Liga, and Serie A
Ronaldo has previously topped the scoring charts in both the English Premier League and the La Liga. However, he is yet to win that accolade in Serie A. If Ronaldo manages to finish the Serie A as the leading goalscorer this season, he would become the first ever player to achieve this record.
He currently has 13 goals and is behind Ciro Immobile (19) and Romelu Lukaku (14) and needs to up his game in the second half of the season to stand a chance of finishing as the leading goalscorer of the league this season.