Goals scored, games played, titles lifted… there is no plot in which Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have not been compared, two vintage footballers who have the last great opportunity to beat their opponent in this World Cup in Qatar. Both are three games away from the World Cup, a title that could be played against each other in the final, and that would end up tipping the balance.
The two stars have the same goal, the final on December 18 in Lusail, but they will try to reach it by different paths. At 37 years oldCristiano has Morocco ahead of him, and if he wins that game, the winner of England-France, with Kane and Mbappe wanting to lead their teams to glory. On the other side of the box Messi advances, who at 35 years old he must get off to the Netherlands and the winner of Croatia-Brazil before obtaining his ticket to his second World Cup final (he played in 2014).
The Portuguese and the Argentine have participated in the same World Cups, the five held between Germany 2006 and this edition, and they arrive with very even statistics, but with Rosario’s somewhat advantaged. Messi has played more games (23 over Ronaldo’s 21), has added more victories (15-9) and has most goals to his credit (9-8). Despite this, neither of them has the title, a trophy that could put an end to their great rivalry.
Neither will be able to miss this last opportunity, since both assume that they will not wear the elastic of their country again in the 2026 World Cup (the edition that will be held in Canada, Mexico and the United States) and the neutral fans dreams of that ‘match of the century’ in which the battle between the two colossi of world football is definitively resolved.
His farewells will not be the only ones, because among his teammates and rivals who are still alive in the World Cup there are also great ‘stickers’ that will end their international tour. Di Maria (34 years old), Pepe (39), Modric (37), Neymar (30) -because he declared that despite reaching the next one due to age, this would be his last participation-, Dani Alves (39), Giroud (36) , Lloris (35)… are the brightest names that They will look for a triumphant farewell.