Ronaldo: 38 in 101 appearances
Van Persie: 31 in 71 appearances
Ronaldo, with a 0.38 goals-per-game ratio, is third on Portugal’s list of all-time leading marksmen, shy of Pauleta (47) and Eusebio (41). Van Persie is eighth on the Netherlands’, behind Patrick Kluivert (40), Dennis Bergkamp (37), Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Faas Wilkes (all 35), Abe Lenstra and Johan Cruyff (both 33).
FIFA World Cup™ goals
Ronaldo: 2 in 10 appearances
Van Persie: 2 in 11 appearances
Ronaldo netted once in six matches at Germany 2006, with a penalty against Iran. He then ended a 16-month international goal drought in a 7-0 thrashing of Korea DPR in South Africa. Van Persie scored a free-kick in a 2-1 win over Côte d'Ivoire at Germany 2006, but fired blanks in his other three games in that tournament. He then posted a finely-taken goal in a 2-1 win over Cameroon in the group stage of South Africa 2010, but failed to find the score-sheet again.
Major club titles
Van Persie: 3
The Rotterdam native helped Feyenoord beat Borussia Dortmund 3-2 in the UEFA Cup final in 2002, and came on as a substitute as Arsenal overcame Manchester United 3-1 in the FA Community Shield two years later. In the 2004/05 FA Cup final, Van Persie rose from the bench and scored a penalty in the shootout as the Gunners edged the Red Devils to glory (Ronaldo also converted his spot-kick, with Paul Scholes’ miss settling the contest in the London side’s favour). RVP has since gone almost eight years without a title. The man from Madeira enjoyed a trophy-laden six years at Old Trafford, winning the FIFA Club World Cup, UEFA Champions League, three Premier Leagues crowns, an FA Cup, two League Cups and the Community Shield. Ronaldo has since won La Liga, the Copa del Rey and a Spanish Super Cup.
Career cost in transfer fees
Van Persie: €34.69m
Ronaldo joined Manchester United from Sporting for €15m in 2003, before shattering the world transfer record – it was previously Kaka’s €65m move from AC Milan to Real Madrid – when he left Old Trafford for the Bernabeu for €93.9m in 2009. Last year Manchester United were able to snare Van Persie, who joined Arsenal from Feyenoord for little over €4m in 2004, for just €30.6m due to the fact the striker had only one year remaining on his contract.
Most goals in a season (club only)
Ronaldo: 60 in 55 appearances in 2011/12
Van Persie: 37 in 48 appearances in 2011/12
Ronaldo posted an incredible 46 goals in 38 league matches and 60 in 55 in all competitions last season – both all-time records for a Real Madrid player. Van Persie’s 37-goal haul in 2011/12 broke his personal best for a campaign by 15.
Ronaldo: 7 for both Real Madrid and Portugal
Van Persie: 20 for Manchester United and varies for the Netherlands
Ronaldo occupied the No28 for Sporting and requested the same jersey upon his move to Manchester United, hoping to avoid the pressure of playing in the club’s hallowed No7, which had been worn with such distinction by the likes of George Best, Bryan Robson, Eric Cantona and David Beckham but was now vacant. However, Sir Alex Ferguson told him he was receiving the No7 and Ronaldo never looked back. With Raul in Real Madrid’s No7, the Portuguese took the No9 when he landed at the Bernabeu, but reclaimed his preferred shirt once the Merengue legend left the club in 2010. Ronaldo has used either the No17 or, more regularly, the No7 for Portugal. Van Persie sported the No32 and No22 jerseys for Feyenoord, and spent the majority of his time at Arsenal in the No11. However, the Dutchman converted to the No10 when it was vacated by William Gallas in 2010. For the Oranje he has worn a series of shirts including the No7, No9, No10, No16 and No17.
2012/13 goals (club only)
Ronaldo: 39 in 40 appearances
Van Persie: 23 in 32 appearances
The 28-year-old’s tally includes 24 in 25 in the Spanish top flight, making him the second-leading marksman behind Barcelona’s 39-goal Lionel Messi. Nineteen goals in 26 outings also make the 29-year-old striker the second-top scorer in his league, two shy of Liverpool’s Luis Suarez. In this season’s UEFA Champions League, Ronaldo has found the target seven times in seven games, with Van Persie netting three in five.