“Lionel Messi doesn’t have the energy he had when he was 20 years old, nor does he have a magic wand to ensure his team qualifies. He has lost spontaneity and strength in his dribbling.”
Raymond Domenech, 8 March 2017
Messi on 9 March 2017: Scores one and is instrumental in two more as Barcelona beat Paris Saint-Germain 6-1, making UEFA Champions League history.
“There were times when Cristiano Ronaldo’s team led 4-0 and he still wanted to score two goals so badly… But that’s over now.”
Bernd Schuster, 11 April 2017
On 18 April 2018 Ronaldo: Score in his 13th successive game, achieving his 24th goal during that period.
People want to flag the flag for the first time at the end of Messi and the Ronaldo dynasties. When a staggering demonstration has been performed on a weekly basis for more than a decade, the fall can be just like an eternity.
However, the pair is still at the top of Spain’s La Liga scoring charts, and Ronaldo’s way of moving into the Champions League has ended. But, at 30 and 33, respectively, time is essentially going to connect the FIFA World Cup ™ to their heavily stressed cabinets.
With both of them reaching their fourth final, will they succeed in Russia, and what is the hope that they should not stand on top of the podium on July 15?
Lionel Messi (Barcelona and Argentina)
Achievements: La Liga winner, Copa del Rey winner
In their favour
Ronaldo has clearly made changes in the previous season, so that his all-action status has been changed practically for the role of a punitive-box finisher. It was, of course, not a clinical striker, since Polete lowered his shoes after Germany’s 2006, Ronaldo focused entirely on this work, which could be a big advantage for European champions.
Without Messi, Argentina will definitely be the most flowing array of resources when it comes to attacking talent. Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain, Angel Di Maria, Paulo DiBalla and Maoro Icardi will run in most teams, so with such a different array, pieces are there to prepare a destructive borderline if George Sepolley can achieve balance.
Where they have fallen before
2006: Semi-final, 1-0 v France
2010: Round of 16, 1-0 v Spain
2014: Group stage
2006: Quarter-final, 1-1 (4-2 PSO) v Germany
2010: Quarter-final, 4-0 v Germany
2014: Final, 1-0 AET v Germany
What awaits in Russia
Both groups will be confident to move forward from the stages, but neither is the direct start of the game. Portugal begins with a mouth-watering meeting against neighboring Spain, which Ronaldo and Kevin must be stumbling, so that they will need to make grounds against Morocco and IR Iran.
Meanwhile, Argentina will have to face more and more selection, at least in Croatia, Iceland and Nigeria are able to steal points from the group favorites – especially the suspected rearguard of La Albicelte. Spain’s 6-1 defeat in March was highlighted in the brilliant style.
However, both should put their groups on top and avoid 16 rounds, waiting for a Ronaldo-Messi quarter-final final on July 7 in Sochi.
What does history say?
Some people can argue to keep Messi and Ronaldo in the frame of their predecessors, when they talk about goals and breaking records, their phenomenal phenomena are considered. However, no one can completely follow the march of time, regardless of how many experts it is, to adapt to it. After this World Cup, both players should ignore the numbers again, should they win again in Qatar in 2022, when Messi and Ronaldo set 35 and 37 respectively, when this version starts.
Since 1930, 422 players have been a member of the World Cup winning team. Of them, only more than seven of them have been 35. Out of that seven, only two are not in the target.
Despite being his oldest player in both tournaments, Nilton Santos played victoriously in every game for Brazil in 1958 and 1962. He was 37 when he lifted a trophy in Chile. More recently, Miroslav Klose was 36 years old when Brazil’s two goals in 2014 helped Germany win. This shows that there is less chance of the end of Messi or Ronaldo’s wait in Qatar.
While no one again writes to the player who defines the number once in four years, Russia 2018 is likely to represent the icon of these modern-day icons at the top of football’s biggest award.