EL CLÁSICO

Cristiano Ronaldo skips ahead of Barcelona's Leo Messi after scoring El Clasico winner

Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 16 goals in El Clasico matches, one more than Leo Messi's 15 in 25 duels. Cristiano has also stepped ahead of the Argentine since both started playing in La Liga: 254 vs 253.

Cristiano Ronaldo skips ahead of Barcelona's Leo Messi
Alejandro García EFE

Cristiano Ronaldo brought Clásico ecstasy to madridistas with his winner at Camp Nou, a priceless goal that not only silenced his critics and brought a renewed sense of belief back to Madrid, but also put him ahead in one of the greatest sporting rivalries of our time.

Both Cristiano and Messi have played in 25 Clásicos since Ronaldo's arrival in Spain for the 2009-10 season. Just how close these two prolific superstars are in the scoring charts is almost beyond belief.

Ronaldo - 16 El Clásico goals (Scoring in 14 Clasicos)

Messi - 15 El Clásico goals (Scoring in 10 Clasicos)

This close-fought contest doesn't end there though, the overall scoring charts are just as tight: Since they've been co-habiting in the same La Liga ecosystem, the records look like this:

Ronaldo: Played 231 Scored 254 (1.10 GPG)

Messi: Played 232 Scored 253 (1.09 GPG)

Incredible numbers from two remarkable players. Cristiano has rediscovered his verve under Zidane after a slump under Rafa Benítez, possibly because Benítez was playing the Portuguese centrally - sometimes due to the absence of Karim Benzema - and Zidane has moved him back out to the right wing where he has more freedom to move, find space, cut in and switch wings.

His goalden touch has returned right when los blancos need him most, under Benítez Ronaldo's GPG was below 1 per game, 0.7 to be exact, scoring 14 in 18 games, while under Zidane his GPG is 1.25 and he's chalked up 15 in 12. 

Eloquent numbers of two careers running on unprecedented parallel lines; these two have shared the last six pichichis between them, Messi in 2009-10, 2011-12 and 2012-13; Cristiano in 2010-11, 2013-14 and 2014-15. The Portuguese is also on track for this season's award, he's got 29 already, three ahead of his closest challenger Luis Suarez on 26, 7 ahead of Messi in third.

"Great team effort. We win together, we celebrate together" was Ronaldo's post-match Tweet after his goal that brought belief back to the Bernabéu: