Could this be the last World Cup for Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo?

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo will be present at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar but will it be their last? Will this be the end of the Argentine and Portuguese superstars and two of the best players in the history of the sport at the World Cup? Find out what Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo had to say about the upcoming 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Argentina are in Group C and Portugal in Group H.

The first ever Winter World Cup is underway in Qatar – but will it be the last tournament Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo will play? The competition kicked off on November 20 when hosts Qatar made their tournament debut against Ecuador as a curtain raiser. Ecuador won 2-0.

The best national teams in the world will compete for almost a month, with the final taking place at the Lusail Stadium on December 18. All the players will be there, but few will be more motivated than Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, two big names in football who have yet to taste World Cup glory.

Before the tournament, Ronaldo had seven World Cup goals and Messi had six. However, Messi moved to seven goals after scoring a penalty in Argentina’s opener against Saudi Arabia. Argentina lost the match 2-1.

Messi scored once in 2006, failed to score in 2010, had four goals in 2014 and added a further goal in 2018 to enter the 2022 World Cup with six goals. Ronaldo in Qatar has a chance to become the first player to score in five consecutive World Cups if he can find the back of the net for Portugal – he netted once in 2006, 2010 and 2014, before making it four in Russia in 2018 .

HOW DID LIONEL MESSI AND CRISTIANO RONALDO SHAKE HANDS AT PREVIOUS WORLD CUPS?

Both players will be participating in their fifth World Cup, their first appearance on international football’s biggest stage since 2006. The coveted trophy has yet to be lifted.

Messi became Argentina’s youngest player in World Cup history when he came off the bench to assist and score another goal in a 6-0 win over Serbia and Montenegro there.at 16 years old. The Argentine celebrated his 19th birthday by coming on as a substitute in the Round of 16 against Mexico, who won 2-1 after extra time but his team was knocked out in the next round by hosts Germany .

In the same tournament, Ronaldo became the youngest Portuguese scorer in World Cup history at the age of 21, thanks to a penalty against Iran in the group stage, and he scored the winning penalty against England in the quarter-finals – no mention the nod to Wayne Rooney when he was sent off. He was unable to prevent the 1-0 semi-final loss to France. In 2010, Messi and Argentina were again knocked out in the quarter-finals by Germany, despite being considered tournament favourites, while Ronaldo and Portugal were knocked out by eventual winners Spain. , in the round of 16.

Four years later, Ronaldo, now Portugal’s all-time top scorer, battled fitness issues to make it to Brazil, but his country suffered a humiliating group stage elimination on goal difference. Meanwhile, Messi was man of the match in Argentina’s first four games and led his country to the final for their first World Cup as captain.

But the Albicelestes missed their chance losing in the final against Germany (1-0 after extra time), even though Messi received the Golden Ball of the tournament as the best player. Last outing in Russia, rumors swirled that this could be Messi’s last World Cup. Argentina qualified for the group stage, thanks to a goal from Messi against Nigeria, but they were beaten by France, the eventual world champions, in a thriller match (4-3).

Ronaldo started off with a bang by scoring a hat-trick against Spain, becoming the oldest player to score a World Cup hat-trick, but Portugal also lost in the round of 16, losing to Portugal, 2-1 . Uruguay. In total, Messi registered six goals and five assists in 19 World Cup appearances, while Ronaldo registered seven goals and two assists in 17 appearances.

After opening the scoring in Argentina’s first World Cup game against Saudi Arabia, Messi climbed to seven World Cup goals, putting him on par with Ronaldo, who also has seven. Portugal open their campaign on Thursday against Ghana.

IS THIS LIONEL MESSI AND CRISTIANO RONALDO’S LAST WORLD CUP?

As said earlier, the question arose four years ago about Messi. This time, however, the answer seems to be a resounding yes.

“This will definitely be my last World Cup”, he told Star Plus in October. “I am counting the days until the World Cup. There is nervousness and nervousness at the same time.”

Messi will be 39 when the 2026 World Cup arrives, so his participation is a big surprise, even if he is determined to feature there. As for Ronaldo, he will be 41 when FIFA’s flagship event takes place in the United States, Canada and Mexico in four years.

But the Manchester United striker has so far not indicated he is banking on a sixth World Cup – which would be a record – and has openly said he wants to be part of Euro 2024 in two years’ time.

“I hope to be part of the Federation [portugaise de football] in a few years,” Ronaldo said in September. “I always feel motivated, my ambition is high. My path to the national team is not over yet. We have a lot of quality youth. I will be there at the World Cup, and I want to be there at the European Championship [en 2024]”.

When pressed on whether Qatar will be their last World Cup in March, Ronaldo said he will decide. “I’m starting to see a lot of you asking the same question”Ronaldo said. “I will decide my future, no one else. If I want to play more games, if I don’t want to, I don’t want to. I am responsible, period”.



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