Ronaldo finishes his fourth World Cup campaign with four goals, while Messi notched just the one in what was also his fourth, scoring the opener in Argentina's huge group stage win over Nigeria in Saint Petersburg.
Here, AFP Sport looks at Messi's biggest disappointments with Argentina.
The 1986 World Cup victor attracted widespread criticism for an offensive gesture during Argentina's 2-1 victory over Nigeria, which saw Jorge Sampaoli's side secure a round-of-16 clash with France.
Ronaldo started off this year's tournament with a hat trick against Spain and then added another goal against Morocco.
Not prone to showing his emotions, Messi sobbed uncontrollably after blasting his penalty over the bar as Argentina lost a second Copa America final in as many years in a shootout to Chile.
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"I've done all I can".
"Now is not the time to talk about the future, either of the coach or the players", the Portugal skipper said after the game. "There are no more illusions for me", he told Argentina's TyC sports channel.
Captain Hugo Lloris returns in goal after being rested with defender Samuel Umtiti, midfielders Paul Pogba and Blaise Matuidi as well as forward Kylian Mbappe for their third group match against Denmark.
The first of those three final defeats came on the biggest stage of all and by the finest of margins in Brazil four years ago. He played 334 times for Barcelona before leaving at the end of last season for China to join Herbei China Fortune. And this is the Mascherano, who was arguably the best player of the World Cup in 2014, where he was the boss of the midfield, making tackles left, right and centre and distributing the ball perfectly ahead.
Fresh from being crowned as the world's best player for the first time, Messi arrived in South Africa as the star attraction of a top-heavy Argentina under Maradona's management.