There’s been a feeling in recent weeks that the balance has been tipping back in favour of the Argentinian over his Portuguese rival, a view that has coincided with Barcelona winning the most recent El Clasico and taking command of La Liga.
However, CR7 dropped a huge weight on his side of the Messi-Ronaldo see-saw debate with five goals in a 9-1 win over Granada, including an eight-minute hat-trick.
After Gareth Bale broke the deadlock in the early kick-off at the Bernabeu, Ronaldo soon got in on the act.
His first goal on 31 minutes was a curled effort with his right foot from a tight angle inside the box into the far corner. Five minutes later he ran onto a loose-ball to volley in from close range. Then on 38 minutes he completed his hat-trick with a venomous shot from outside the box that the keeper was unable to stop from getting past him.
Real Madrid and Ronaldo weren’t finished though.
During the second half, the hosts found another five goals. Karim Benzema got two of them and one was an own goal from Diego Mainz, whilst Ronaldo took his tally for the match to five.
His fourth was a close range finish after 54 minutes. He then rounded a perfect afternoon off with a headed goal just before full-time to make it 9-1.
It was the first time Ronaldo has scored five goals in a match and took his tally in La Liga this season to 36, four ahead of Messi.
The win closed the gap to Barcelona to one point, who play Celta Vigo later today.