Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, the last chance of two legends

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, the last chance of two legends

Can we claim the title of best player in history without a World Cup victory to his name? For fifteen years, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have erected their duel into a “Stones or Beatles? ” soccer. They sucked in attention, honors and Ballons d’Or. But only one title is missing and everything is not depopulated, but rather incomplete, and allows a “yes, but”. “Yes”, the Portuguese and the Argentinian are legends of their sport, “but” this world title is still missing from their list. Qatar is undoubtedly the ground of their last chance at, respectively, 37 and 35 years old.

The fifth already. Against Saudi Arabia, Lionel Messi did not imagine a defeat for his Albiceleste (1-2), Tuesday, November 22, to join the Mexicans Antonio Carbajal, Rafael Marquez, Andres Guardado and Guillermo Ochoa, the Italian Gianluigi Buffon and the German Lothar Matthäus in the closed club of players in the five final stages of a World Cup. Cristiano Ronaldo must also integrate it on Wednesday with Portugal’s debut in the tournament against Ghana, at the 974 stadium in Doha..

“Their longevity is exceptional. Other great players have had two or three chances to win a World Cup. A legend like Alfredo Di Stefano never even disputed it”observes historian Paul Dietschy, who coordinated the review Football(s) on the history of the World Cup at the University Press of Franche-Comté.

Read also: Qatar 2022: the “unofficial” profile of the Portugal team

Monster of pride, “CR7” admitted in his shock interview with journalist Piers Morgan that he was arguing ” most likely “ his last World Cup, but added a condition to certify to “100%” an international retirement: winning the tournament with Portugal. Messi is more direct. “This is my last chance to achieve the dream we all have: to win the World Cup, he announced on Monday. It’s my last. » But finally the good one? For him, the lights seemed more green than for his rival before this failed entry despite his penalty goal. Ronaldo, who broke his contract on Tuesday with Manchester United where he was no more than a downgraded substitute, appears to him as the symbol of a paper tiger Portugal.

Mute both from the round of 16

After a year of adaptation and spleen, the Messi of Paris Saint-Germain has regained some of the magic he displayed during his long years in Barcelona. Despite his inaugural rout, Argentina dreams of seeing him win this third world star (after 1978 and 1986) with an Albiceleste invigorated by his victory at the last Copa America. On July 10, 2021, Messi won a title against Brazil, but also hearts with his speech before the final. The man of few words finally finds them to touch his teammates.

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