Who has the most red cards in his career: Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo?

They are eternal enemies when it comes to glory, but who tops the disciplinary table?

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are more or less neck and neck when it comes to certain stats – goals, Ballons d’Or and so on – but one area where there is no comparison is discipline.

Both the Barcelona captain and the Juventus star are fierce competitors and they are known to let their temper boil over on occasion when opponents manage to get into their heads or, indeed, if things fail. not as expected in the field.

Messi was controversially sent off in the 2019 Copa America play-off third place against Chile in July following a heated showdown with Gary Medel. It was the first time he had seen red in 14 years.

But how exactly does the Barca forward measure up to his big rival when it comes to meeting officials?

Ronaldo’s red card record is much more damning than that of the Argentine, whose contentious dismissal against La Roja was only his second red card in his senior career.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi red cards

Dated Player Meet Competition
May 15, 2004 Cristiano Ronaldo Aston Villa 0-2 Manchester United premier league
Aug 15, 2005 Lionel messi Hungary 1-2 Argentina International friendly
January 14, 2006 Cristiano Ronaldo Manchester City 3-1 Manchester United premier league
Aug 15, 2007 Cristiano Ronaldo Portsmouth 1-1 Manchester United premier league
November 30, 2008 Cristiano Ronaldo Manchester City 0-1 Manchester United premier league
December 5, 2009 Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid 4-2 Almeria the league
January 24, 2010 Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid 2-0 Malaga the league
May 17, 2013 Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid 1-2 Atletico Madrid Copa del Rey
February 2, 2014 Cristiano Ronaldo Athletic Club 1-1 Real Madrid the league
January 24, 2015 Cristiano Ronaldo Cordoba 1-2 Real Madrid the league
Aug 13, 2017 Cristiano Ronaldo Barcelona 1-3 Real Madrid Super Cup
September 19, 2018 Cristiano Ronaldo Valencia 0-2 Juventus Champions League
July 6, 2019 Lionel messi Argentina 2-1 Chile Copa America

Messi’s first red card came on his Argentina debut against Hungary in 2005. The Blaugrana star replaced Lisandro Lopez in the 64th minute, but his international arc ended after just two minutes when the 18-year-old years was deemed to have hit Vilmos Vanczak – who was pulling the striker’s shirt. He was never sent off while representing Barcelona.

In contrast, Ronaldo has been sent off several times while playing for Manchester United, Real Madrid and Juventus. In particular, the Portuguese has shown himself somewhat inclined to lose his temper during derby matches.

For example, while playing for the Red Devils, Ronaldo was sent off in the Manchester derbies in 2006 and 2008, a totally reckless foul on former Man Utd legend Andy Cole that earned him his marching orders. first time.

While at Real Madrid, Ronaldo was sent off in the 2013 Copa del Rey final against Atletico Madrid, a game in which he also scored, but which Los Blancos ultimately lost.

He also has the particularity of being sent off in a Clasico game, having been shown red in the 2017 Supercopa de Espana first leg, which was a classic of the Messi vs Ronaldo genre.

When Ronaldo put Real Madrid 2-1 in the 80th minute – incidentally canceling Messi’s equalizer three minutes before – the Portuguese removed his shirt and held it in front of the Camp Nou crowd in a challenge.

Of course, that shirtless show of provocation got him a reservation and the Catalan crowd were comforted two minutes later when referee Ricardo de Burgos Bengoetxea showed the Madrid man a second yellow for the dive.

Cristiano Ronaldo Federico Bernardeschi Juventus Valencia 1909 208

A red card reduced Ronaldo to tears in 2018 when he was sent off less than half an hour after his very first Champions League game for Juventus.

With 29 minutes on the clock against Valencia at Mestalla, the Portuguese collided with Jeison Murillo and the altercation resulted in referee Felix Brych showing the Juve striker a red card.

Lionel Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo: red cards face to face

Player Number of red cards Straight red cards
Lionel messi 2 2
Cristiano Ronaldo 11 seven

As you can see in the tables above, Ronaldo has a much poorer disciplinary record than Messi, with 11 red cards shown to him during his senior career against the two Argentines.

Of Ronaldo’s 11 red cards, four came to Manchester United, six were shown when he wore Real Madrid colors and one came with a Juventus shirt. Seven of those layoffs were pure reds.