We have been lucky enough to live in a generation with the likes of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar and we couldn’t help but compare their records after 700 matches.
Messi and Ronaldo especially have tussled for the tag as the greatest of all time, whereas Neymar has often been considered as the best of the rest.
We have seen all three of them breaking countless records and even in the twilight of their careers, they are still capable of producing a moment of genius.
In the case of Messi, his World Cup triumph with Argentina was the crowning moment of his stellar career. The 35-year-old rolled back the years in Qatar and was box office in most matches.
He has also set some truly remarkable records throughout his club career. He is Barcelona’s all-time top scorer and has won seven Ballon d’Or awards, which is the most of any player.
By the time he had played 700 matches, he had already scored 565 goals and provided 232 assists. With an average of 1.14 goal contributions per game, Messi is truly in a league of his own.
What’s interesting about Ronaldo is that he has actually become more prolific later on in his career. That’s not to say that his record after 700 games also isn’t astonishing though.
The Portuguese superstar managed to rack up 595 goal contributions by the time he had made 700 appearances. Ronaldo spent his early years as an out-and-out winger, before he then transitioned into a goalscoring machine.
His best goalscoring year at club level came during 2014–15, as he scored 61 goals. He is Real Madrid’s all-time top scorer and has the best goalscoring ratio in La Liga history.
While Neymar has never quite been part of the GOAT debate, his career record at 700 matches is truly remarkable. After 700 games, Neymar has more assists than Messi had and more goal contributions than Ronaldo at the same point in his career.
The Brazilian playmaker spent his early days with Santos where he scored a total of 136 goals. In just his second ever season as a professional, Neymar scored 42 goals and helped Santos to a domestic double.
He then further elevated his game when he moved over to Barcelona in 2013. He was one-third of arguably the greatest attacking trio of all time and his stats certainly back that up.
We’ve gone through each player’s career and analysed their records after they have each played 700 career matches.
Goal contributions: 797
Goals per game: 0.81
Assists per game: 0.33
Goal contributions per game: 1.14
Goal contributions: 595
Goals per game: 0.64
Assists per game: 0.21
Goal contributions per game: 0.85
Goal contributions: 687
Goals per game: 0.63
Assists per game: 0.35
Goal contributions per game: 0.98