"Argentina icon, Lionel Messi is widely considered by a lot of football fans out there to be the greatest player among active footballers, with the striker winning numerous professional and individual honours in his career so far, including a record seven Ballon d'Or awards.
Fans of the other player in this conversation Cristiano Ronaldo would however say the Portugal icon is the greatest among active footballers. Despite his brilliance on the field, though, Messi does struggle when it comes to penalties and the 34-year-old has now matched former Barcelona team-mate, Thierry Henry's record for the most missed penalties in Champions League history while surpassing Cristiano Ronaldo for most penalty attempts. Messi missed a penalty against Real Madrid in the round of 16 first leg of the Champions League on Tuesday, which means that he has missed five of 23 penalty attempts in the competition. After Kylian Mbappé won a penalty for Paris Saint-Germain, Messi, with his 126th Champions League goal on his mind, stepped up to take the spot kick, but Real Madrid 'keeper Thibaut Courtois had other ideas, as he dove the right way to deny Messi. It was his first failed penalty kick conversion against Real Madrid in his career. But how does Messi compare to Ronaldo when it comes to penalty kicks? At club level, Messi has taken 110, scoring 84, and missing 26, while Ronaldo has attempted 149, scoring 127, and missed 22. In the colours of their respective countries, Messi has had 22 attempts from the charity spot, scoring 18, while Ronaldo has stepped up to take a penalty for his country 23 times and scoring 16 times. In all, Messi has taken 132 penalty kicks and scored 102 of them, with 30 misses, while Ronaldo has taken 172 and come out on top 143 times, with 29 misses over his whole career. This record excludes penalty shootouts but it should be noted however that one of Messi’s misses was a deliberate assist for a Luis Suarez goal. With an 83.1 per cent conversion rate, Ronaldo's stats are clearly superior to Messi’s 77.3 per cent. However Ronaldo is not necessarily the number one ice-cool penalty king. Yes, his record from the charity spot is fantastic, but there are other elite strikers of the same generation who have better conversion rates, such as Robert Lewandowski (with 91 per cent), Harry Kane (with 86 per cent) and Zlatan Ibrahimovic ( with 85 per cent). In terms of penalty attempts, Ronaldo has taken 40 more in-game penalties than Messi, partly because he's played two more years than Messi, and partly because Messi periodically allows his team mates to take penalties."
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