Argentina and Portugal have both advanced to the World Cup, handing the two legends another opportunity at the sport’s ultimate medal for the final time. Nonetheless, as the World Cup inches closer, two legends who seem to be immortal in their potential to fascinate and befuddle us have begun to ponder their destiny. And now we need to acknowledge that these titans may eventually be heading off into the dawn of the World Cup.
Both of the game’s top stars have achieved numerous club and individual honours, as well as continental honours with their respective countries, but neither has yet managed to cap off his career with a World Cup triumph. Ronaldo, 37, for Portugal, and Messi, 34, for Argentina, will both participate in their fifth World Cup.
Messi might very well have hit the headlines on Saturday for his thoughts on his future after Argentina’s 30th game sans a loss, but he was pointing out the obvious.
“I don’t know what I will do after the World Cup,” Messi stated. “I am thinking about what is coming. After Qatar, I will have to reassess many things.” Messi said as reported by The Sun.
After failing the 2016 Copa América Centenario upon penalties, Messi sought retirement from the national team, but it was short-lived. Considering the fury and grief of failing another final, that statement was unattainable to believe. Saturday’s statements, on the other hand, had a different tone to them, primarily since we can now see an arena minus him on the pitch. After all, we’ve already had to cope with witnessing him without his Barcelona stripes, which looked to be inked on his body.
Ronaldo expressed a more straightforward version of the same remark while addressing his future Monday as if he could perhaps beat ageing by out scrambling it with his renowned sheer determination. He said as reported by ESPN, “The one who is going to decide my future is me, nobody else. If I feel like playing more, I’ll play, if I don’t feel like playing more, I won’t. I’ll decide, period.”
Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are set to contest their fifth World Cup. Something which barely a minority legend has achieved. Italy keeper Gianluigi Buffon (1998-2014), Mexico defender Rafael Márquez (2002-18), Germany playmaker Lothar Matthaeus (1982-98), and Mexico keeper Antonio Carbajal (1950-66) are the only athletes to have participated in five World Cups.