After compiling the Lionel Messi infograph yesterday it is now time to look at the man that has arguably spurred him on and by extension they have spurned each other to such goalscoring heights. That of course being none other than Cristiano Ronaldo.

Up until the end of the 2016/17 season the Portuguese international has scored 285 goals in 265 games. That is an average of 1.08 goals per game, if Messi’s average of 0.91 was incredible then the Euro 2016 winners’ goals per game average is simply sensational.

Again though we are arguably witnessing the gradual decline of Cristiano Ronaldo as last season saw his lowest goal tally for the club since he joined in the Summer of 2009.

But when we talk about decline it is not as drastic as the word may sound as last season he still scored 25 goals for Los Blancos as they won their first La Liga title since 2012.

After scoring a career best 48 goals in the 2014/15 campaign there has been a notable drop off since then with only 35 and then 25 goals in the two seasons that followed.

If we look at his appearances, goals and goals averages since the start of his Real Madrid career

Season Apps Goals Average
2009–10 29 26 0.90
2010–11 34 40 1.18
2011–12 38 46 1.21
2012–13 34 34 1.00
2013–14 30 31 1.03
2014–15 35 48 1.37
2015–16 36 35 0.97
2016–17 29 25 0.86
Total 265 285 1.08

You can see from above that there was a five season streak in which Ronaldo was averaging more than 1 goal per game during the season,  three of those seasons saw him average a higher goal return than that of his career GPG average.

It is only last season that the GPG fell below 0.90, that could be attributed to the fact he had played the least amount of La Liga games since his first season at the Bernabeu, had he played more games then there is every opportunity that he would have scored more.

If he plays he scores, that seems to be the simple mantra when you discuss the former Manchester United player, one thing to look at though is the fact that the curve of the trendline is a much more smoother curve, this is because his two “bad seasons” are at the same level with a peak almost in the middle.

“Bad seasons” is a terrible term to use because he has not had any really, therefore we do not see a gradual rise before a drop off it is almost a perfect circumference in terms of a goalscoring trajectory. I’m not sure if we will see a return to the form of more than 1.0 GPG this season but I would imagine we would get close.

That is of course if he stays at Real Madrid, he has been talking about persecution as of late due to his five match ban after the sending off in the Spanish Supercup, this also means that the maximum games that he can play is 34 in La Liga.

Therefore to beat last season’s 0.86 average he is going to have to score 30 goals this season as Real Madrid bid to defend their La Liga crown. This will be an interesting over/under metric to look at when the campaign comes to a close.

Now that there is data for both Ronaldo and Lionel Messi of course the next steps will be to compare the two to each other and see how the sit when placed side by side, the fairest example will be to start the piece from the 2008-09 season so that their career paths are the same lengths.

That will follow in due course but that completes the breakdown of Cristiano Ronaldo’s La Liga goals, I hope you enjoyed reading it


I hope this was of interest to you and if you have any football data work available then please contact me at as I am always looking to undertake additional projects to the ones I already have. Thanks, Dan.