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Cristiano Ronaldo hits 30 and now leads Lionel Messi by eight goals

Each week, ESPN FC forecasts and reviews the scoring battle between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in La Liga.

Current goals total in La Liga: Ronaldo 30-22 Messi

Cristiano Ronaldo has reached yet another personal landmark and, in doing so, increased his goals lead over Lionel Messi to eight. 

Ronaldo became the first player to score 30 goals in six straight Spanish league seasons when he netted against Eibar in Real Madrid's 4-0 win. In all, the Portuguese took seven shots and got three on target. 

Messi also had seven shots but got only two on goal and was unable to inspire Barcelona, who lost 1-0 at Real Sociedad. The Argentine remains at 499 goals for club and country in his career.

Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 11 goals in his past nine league games.

Ratings and review

Here's what our Real Madrid and Barcelona club bloggers had to say about each man's performance.

Rob Train on Ronaldo: 7/10 -- This was not a vintage performance from the forward, epitomised by a shot blasted into the top tier at the end of the game. Ronaldo was full of running for the team and assisted Lucas Vazquez and Jese, then got on the score sheet himself with a close-range drive. The Portuguese missed an absolute sitter in the second half, somehow contriving to turn the ball wide from about 2 yards with the goal at his mercy.

Samuel Marsden on Messi: 6/10 -- Had the majority of his side's chances. Blazed over minutes after the game's only goal and wasted a free kick in the 22nd minute. Produced a great pass for Neymar in the buildup to Arda Turan's chance, though he struggled to be creative against a well-drilled La Real defence. More chances came his way late on, but he was foiled by Geronimo Rulli every time.

Lionel Messi has not scored in La Liga since March 12.

Socially speaking

How did Twitter react to Ronaldo and Messi's latest displays?

What do you think about Messi and Ronaldo? Let us know using the hashtag #ESPNFCMessiRonaldo. Plus, tell us who will win this season's scoring battle in our poll.

The next league game

After midweek Champions League action, Ronaldo and Real Madrid visit Getafe on Saturday. The following day, Messi and Barcelona host Valencia.

The Messi vs. Ronaldo goals-projection model

All season long, ESPN FC, in conjunction with ESPN's Stats & Info group, will forecast the scoring battle in La Liga between Messi and Ronaldo using a specially designed projection model.

Here's an explanation from the model's creator, analytics specialist Zach Bradshaw:

"These projections account for the historical performance [goals scored and minutes played] of the two players since 2010, strength of opposing defences faced [measured by SPI defensive rating], game location and the potential for injury or missing games. Based on these inputs, the predictor will estimate the chance of each player scoring any number of goals for each remaining game. From this, we can project the total number of goals scored, hat tricks and the chance of each player accruing more goals than the other over the course of the entire Liga season."


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