Lionel Messi threw down the gauntlet by grabbing La Liga's hat-trick record at the weekend, but in the 'anything you can do' stakes with Cristiano Ronaldo, the Portuguese star fired himself ahead in the ongoing battle for European supremacy.
Ahead of Tuesday's clash with FC Schalke 04 in the Champions League, Cristiano Ronaldo was level in the history of European competitions, including preliminary rounds, with Real Madrid legend Raúl and Barcelona maestro, Lionel Messi, on 76 goals.
In what proved to be a trickier than expected encounter at the Santiago Bernabéu against the German side, Cristiano Ronaldo netted his 77th and 78th European strikes, equalising twice after FC Schalke 04 had twice taken the lead.
Popular Spanish statistics tweeter, Mister Chip, has also pointed out there are three ways of looking at the records, when it comes to competitions in Europe. The aforementioned record is the first and leading one, but there are also two others which are debated amongst followers.
The second is the record for goals in the entire history of the European Cup, including it's subsequent re-branding as the 'Champions League' and qualifying or preliminary rounds. In those stakes, Cristiano Ronaldo is now on 76 goals, whilst Lionel Messi is on 75.
The final calculator is under the Champions League format since 1992 and without qualifying or preliminary rounds. In this regard, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are now tied on 75 goals each.
Confused? Well don't worry, as it depends on which statistics you want to roll with, although suffice it to say that all-time, all-competitions in Europe, Cristiano Ronaldo has shot himself into the lead.
On another note, Cristiano Ronaldo also matched Victor Valdes, Frank Lampard, Iker Casillas and Xavi Hernandez, for the highest number of games played in the knock-out stages of the Champions League, joining them on 51.
Meanwhile and ahead of Barcelona's second-leg clash with Manchester City next week, Lionel Messi will have ample opportunity to catch up to his arch-rival at Real Madrid in the race for European goals.