Lionel Messi And Cristiano Ronaldo's Last 10 Hat-Tricks

Lionel Messi's stunning hat-trick against Real Betis last night means he is now one away from equalling Ronaldo's record of 52 career hat-tricks.

Messi bagged a trio of glorious goals, including a wonderful free-kick and the most nonchalant of chips, in the 4-1 win to take his tally to 51 hat-tricks for club and country.

It followed on from Ronaldo hitting an eighth Champions League hat-trick against Atletico on Tuesday night to send Juventus through the quarter finals of the Champions League.

The 34-year old against showed his elite mentality by doing exactly what he told his family he would do prior to the game and his stunning big-game performance was praised by Messi.

Even though they are no longer playing in the same league, we simply cannot avoid the endless comparisons between the two and their recent hat-tricks prompted a look at their last ten three-goal hauls.

Lionel Messi's last ten hat-tricks:

Espanyol - La Liga

Eibar - La Liga

Ecuador - World Cup qualifiers

Leganes - La Liga

Haiti - International friendly

Deportivo - La Liga

PSV - Champions League group stage

Levante - La Liga

Sevilla - La Liga

Real Betis - La Liga

Cristiano Ronaldo's last 10 hat-tricks:

Wolfsburg - Champions League quarter final

Alaves - La Liga

Atletico Madrid - La Liga

Kashima Antlers - Club World Cup final

Bayern Munich - Champions League quarter final

Atletico Madrid - Champions League semi final

Real Sociedad - La Liga

Girona - La Liga

Spain - World Cup

Atletico Madrid - Champions League last 16

Image: PA
Image: PA

The list does indicate that Ronaldo has been more of a big-game player than his fellow five-time Ballon d'Or winner in recent times, furthering the idea that he's immune to pressure.

But for all the many statistics and ways in which you can spin your take on the most common debate in football, Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher came up with one of the most sensible summaries this week.

Writing for the Daily Telegraph, Carragher revealed he holds the opinion that Ronaldo is the best goalscorer of all time, but he believes that Messi is the better player overall.

"Ronaldo and Messi - the greatest goalscorer of all time and the greater player of all time - show no sign of giving up their dominance of European competition, their individual displays in midweek further demonstrating their exceptional skill and motivation levels," he wrote.

"They bring belief to their clubs and fear to opposition. The fact remains unless the English clubs can find a way to stop Ronaldo and Messi, this year's final will be Juventus versus Barcelona."

Fans are already dreaming of that mouthwatering Messi vs Ronaldo final at Wanda Metropolitano after seeing Friday's quarter final and semi-final draw.

It won't be the first time the two titans of world football have turned out in the same Champions League final as Messi scored an awe-inspiring header in Barca's 2-0 win over Ronaldo's United in Rome in 2009.

But the rivalry is on a whole new level these days and If it does happen, then maybe the interminable debate will finally be settled. We won't hold our breath, however.

Josh Lawless

Josh is a writer who specialises in football and wrestling. He has been published by Curzon Ashton FC, Late Tackle, Manchester City FC, The Mirror, Read Man City and Manchester Evening News. He provides coverage of professional wrestling and has interviewed some of the biggest names in the field - including the first UK interview with The Hardy Boyz after their return to WWE. He has never sported a pair of Lonsdale Slip-ons, contrary to reports.

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