Lionel Messi made his Ligue 1 debut for Paris Saint-Germain on 30th August at the Stade Auguste Delaune against Reims on Matchday 4 of the French Championship. The 6-time Ballon d'Or winner made his much-awaited first appearance for PSG in the presence of thousands of fans at the Stade Auguste Delaune whilst millions streamed the match live. Lionel Messi joined PSG on a free transfer after financial difficulties forced the Spanish club to let their captain when his contract expired.
Lionel Messi's eternal rival, Cristiano Ronaldo also made a move this summer. The 5-time Ballon d'Or winner left Italian giants, Juventus to reconnect with his former club, Manchester United. The £13m deal was initiated and completed within 24 hours on transfer deadline day. Ronaldo subsequently made his debut for Manchester United on Saturday against Newcastle United at the Old Trafford.
Just as has been the story all their careers, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have both been pitted together again, with the race to see who does better in their new surroundings ever so fierce. Thus, we'll look at how each player is doing now with a look at the stats from their respective debut matches. In terms of attendance and followership, 76,000 fans were looking on at Old Trafford whilst Ronaldo walked up to the pitch. While for Lionel Messi there were just 21,127 fans in the stadium due to the limited capacity of the Stade Auguste Delaune.
Despite the small number of fans that watched Lionel Messi's debut at the stadium, many more watched it outside. The match against Reims became the most-watched Ligue 1 fixture in history, garnering 10.5 million TV viewers in France and 6.7 million viewers in Spain. On Messi's debut against Reims, the Argentine forward also had 26 balls played, made 5 challenges, won 3 fouls, made 1 tackle, had 1 ball recovery, and attempted 21 passes with a 95% success rate. All these in just 25 minutes of action since he was brought in in the 65th minute of the game.
Cristiano Ronaldo's debut for Manchester United saw him score two goals in the 4-1 drubbing of Newcastle United on Saturday at Old Trafford. In the game against the Magpies, Ronaldo's two goals came from 6 shots on target and over-achieving his 1.6 Expected Goals figure. He also had 8 touches in the opposition box, making 1 fast break. From all of the happenings on their debuts, Cristiano Ronaldo seems to have performed better than Lionel Messi