Messi vs Ronaldo: Their Last FIFA World Cup 2022
I’m not going to be seeing who’s better of the two players Messi vs Ronaldo; it’s simply to highlight the careers of both of these phenomenal athletes and to try and predict how they’re going to be doing in the World Cup. World Cup Qatar is less than ten days away, and I’m really excited to see how Messi and Ronaldo fare in this tournament, which may be the last World Cup for both of these players.
I want you to put on who you think is going to have a better overall tournament and if either of these two players, Messi or Ronaldo, are actually going to end up taking the World Cup home. Messi was an established starter, but he only had one assist and went goalless throughout the tournament before they were eliminated by Germany in the quarterfinals. Many have argued that this was Messi’s worst international campaign; however, in 2014, when the World Cup was hosted in Brazil, it was a completely different story for Messi. Messi would end up taking his team all the way to the finals, scoring four goals on the way and accumulating a single assist; unfortunately, he would end up losing out to Germany in extra time but did take home the Golden Ball and the Best Player of the Tournament award on the way home. Now, four years later, when the World Cup is hosted in Russia, that form just didn’t last for Messi.
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Messi and his team would end up being eliminated in the 16th round. The caveat to all of this is that Messi became the only player in history to be able to score a World Cup goal in his teens, his 20s, and his 30s now in total, Messi would go on to score six goals and get five assists in his total of 19 World Cup appearances throughout his career now let’s move on to Cristiano Ronaldo and, like Messi, he made his World Cup debut in 2006 in Germany Ronaldo would actually get his first goal contribution on a penalty kick against Iran that would end up winning, and although it would not show up on the stat sheet, he would go on to score a critical penalty kick against England, advancing Portugal to the semi-finals. This ended up becoming a standout performance for a very young Ronaldo, and he became the youngest Portuguese player to score for a World Cup at that time. Now moving on to 2010 in South Africa, Ronaldo ended up becoming the captain of the team at a very young age, mirroring Messi’s performance in Argentina.
Ronaldo did not have a very good World Cup campaign. He would only go on to score a single goal and that was a goal against North Korea. The World Cup winners would eventually eliminate him in the round of 16 of that tournament. Now in 2014, Ronaldo was coming off in top form after winning the Champions League for Real Madrid after a long 13-year drought. Unfortunately, Ronaldo did sustain a rumored injury and his performance in the World Cup wasn’t the best. It was actually a really poor performance from Portugal as they did not make it out of the group stages. He would only score a single goal and get a single assist. Now, 2018 would be a completely different story than 2014, and Ronaldo’s Redemption Arc was in it. He had just finished a three-peat with Real Madrid, winning the Champions League for three years in a row, and he was in top form. He started off his campaign by scoring three goals against previous World Cup winner Spain, becoming the oldest World Cup hat-trick-scoring player in history.
Ronaldo has seven goals and one assist, bringing the goal-scoring total to six, with Messi scoring six and Ronaldo scoring seven. The next big argument a lot of people have is that the competition that one player has faced is harder than the other player, so I’ve actually gone back and compiled the World Cup rankings for each team that both Messi and Ronaldo have scored against and tried to average out what the average ranking team was just to shed a better light on this argument maybe and maybe even get a critical answer as to who is facing harder competition. So the FIFA rankings for Messi’s competitions where he scored goals are as follows: Serbia in 2006 was ranked 24th, Bosnia in 2014 was ranked 16th, and Iran in 2014 was ranked 49th. Nigeria was ranked 33 in 2014, and they were ranked 41 when he scored two goals against them in 2018. This brings the average FIFA ranking to 34.
Now the FIFA rankings for the teams that Ronaldo has scored against at the World Cup are as follows: Iran in 2006 was ranked 21, North Korea in 2010 was ranked 91, and Ghana in 2014 was ranked 23rd. Spain was ranked eight, where he scored a hat trick, and Morocco in 2018 was ranked 48, bringing the average FIFA World Ranking to 30. Now, from the averages of the teams that both players have scored against, it looks like Ronaldo might have faced competition, but as you guys are probably aware, we did not factor in assists, so honestly, you can sway it in either direction. As I said, I’m only here to shut the light on the stats, I’m not here to spread a wildfire. Insert another argument. I’m just presenting the statistics because they’re now discussing statistics. I found something very peculiar when I looked at both Messi and Ronaldo’s World Cup history: neither player has scored in the knockout stages.
So there are arguments that always say that Messi is a big game player or that Ronaldo is a big game player because neither has scored in the knockout stages, which was very peculiar and I found it very interesting. If it couldn’t get any harder to distinguish who’s a better player, Ronaldo and Messi have individual and international trophies at their disposal. Argentina won Copa America in 2021, and Ronaldo won the Euros in 2016. Now, Ronaldo did win the national league in 2019, but we can also give credit to Messi, who won the Olympic gold medal with Argentina back in 2008, so a tie with international trophies is almost neck and neck. This debate and argument between Messi and Ronaldo get tougher and tougher the more you analyze it honestly now in closing, I just want to say that Messi and Ronaldo are both phenomenal players, and I believe that this may be the last World Cup for both of them, so I say whether you like one or dislike the other, we should just sit back and enjoy these two players while we still can.