Current Form

by Philemon Kiptoo

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As the tournament in Russia zooms in, already there is a lot of talk about players’ current form in club competitions, and whether that form can be translated to the World Cup in June.

Being the most dominant players in the game currently, Messi and Ronaldo are always on the radar of everyone. Both players have had a few low moments this season, but nonetheless they have been spectacular by many standards.

Ronaldo started the season off-form. His scoring ability dipped, and for a player whose main ability in the game (at least for the last few years) is scoring goals that was a big problem. However, he quickly picked up, and his great form has been displayed in the Champions League where he has scored 17 goals so far.

In La Liga, it was a little too late though. His Real Madrid team lost a lot of points at the beginning of the season; and even as Ronaldo’s form sharpened as the season progressed, it is very unlikely that they will catch up with La Liga league leaders Barcelona steered by Lionel Messi.

Messi, on the other hand has been great in form. He emphatically helped Argentina qualify for the World Cup by scoring a hatrick in the must-win match against Ecuador. In Spain, he has helped Barcelona stay top of the LaLiga table for the entire season and win the Copa Del Rey (Spanish Cup). However, they were dramatically eliminated from the Champions League by AS Roma (in Camp Nou!) after blowing a 4-1 first leg lead.


Form this season:

Messi Ronaldo
Total Appearances 50 39
Total Goals 40 42
Assists 18 9

Table 1: Stats of Messi and Ronaldo for the 2017/2018 season (All competitions excluding country). Source –


The above stats show that the two players head to Russia in good form.

After winning the Spanish Cup final and being eliminated from the Champions League, Messi and Barcelona now have La Liga as their only competition, and with 5 more games to go and 11 points clear of 2nd placed Atletico Madrid, Messi’s Barcelona are destined for the league title this season. This is actually ideal for the Argentine has he can devote more time to his World Cup preparation and save some energy for the tournament by playing few games in the days leading to the World Cup.

Ronaldo’s schedule is also getting less busy as the tournament in Russia approaches. Real Madrid sitting third in La Liga, and 15 points behind league leaders Barcelona with only 5 more games to play means that the Portuguese international can now focus his attention on the UEFA Champions League Final, as it is the only club competition he’s destined to win. This as well ensures that he doesn’t strain himself as the World Cup gets around the corner.

Messi’s ability to curl in free kicks has been exemplified this season – hopefully we see more of these in Russia


 Ronaldo’s phenomenon bicycle kick goal against Juventus in the Champion’s League was an highlight of the season

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[1] “2017/18 season stats for Messi & Ronaldo.” April 23, 2018.

[2] “Messi Current Form, Sport 360” April 27, 2018.

[3] “Ronaldo Current Form, ESPN” April 28, 2018.

How to cite this page:

“Messi vs. Ronaldo – The Final Showdown?” Written by Philemon Kiptoo and Vinay Kshirsagar (2018). World Cup 2018 Guide, Soccer Politics Blog, Duke University, (accessed on [date]).