Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo go head to head in Wednesday’s Euro 2016 semi-final – but stats reveal the Welshman still surprisingly trails his Real Madrid team-mate in several departments.
Here, we take a look at how their respective international careers stack up, as well as the all-important stats the duo have so far stacked up during Euro 2016.
Bale won his 60th cap in the Euro 2016 quarter-final against Belgium, having made his debut in 2006 to become Wales’ youngest ever player at the age of 16 years and 315 days. Ronaldo became Portugal’s most capped player at Euro 2016, breaking the record of Luis Figo, and has now made 131 appearances for his country.
Wales had waited 58 years to play at a major finals following the 1958 World Cup. But Bale has made the most of his opportunity with three goals and one assist. Ronaldo is a veteran of major tournaments having played in seven – four European Championships and three World Cups – but has never really made a lasting impression in any.
Bale is joint fourth on Wales’ all-time scoring list with Dean Saunders on 22 goals – and six short of equalling Ian Rush’s record. Ronaldo is Portugal’s record goalscorer with 60, far eclipsing the previous best mark of 47 set by Pauleta.
Bale’s goal average for his country is a goal every 2.7 games; Ronaldo’s average is a goal every 2.18 matches.
- Bale and Ronaldo have been involved in four goals at Euro 2016
- Bale leads by three goals to two with Ronaldo having an extra assist
- Ronaldo has had many more goal attempts – 32 to Bale’s 20 – only nine of his efforts have been on target. That rate of 28.1% compares miserably to Bale’s 70% – 14 of his shots being on target
- Ronaldo has also shown his impatience, being caught offside 11 times compared to Bale’s two
- Ronaldo has made more successful passes (148 to 113) with a far superior accuracy (86 to 69 %)
- Ronaldo has registered more key passes than Bale (7 to 4)
- Ronaldo has created more chances than Bale (8 to 4)
- Ronaldo has won more free-kicks (12 to 8)
For all Wales’ brilliance in reaching the semi-finals in France – an Herculean effort which deserves every iota of applause – it’d be unfair to direct all the plaudits in Bale’s direction. In fact, while Wales’ efforts have been very much team-centric – the phrase ‘Together Stronger’ wasn’t chosen by chance – Portugal have relied far more heavily on Ronaldo, than Chris Coleman’s side have on Bale.
While they’ve been involved in the same number of goals this tournament, it is Ronaldo’s talents for whom Portugal rely on more frequently.
Wednesday’s match in Lyon might be being billed as Bale v Ronaldo, but the absence of the suspended Aaron Ramsey could prove more influential on the result.
As a result, Wales might have to keep a tighter lid on Ronaldo, than their opponents do on Bale, if Chris Coleman’s side are to progress to the Euro 2016 final.