Messi and Ronaldo appear poised for a final chance at FIFA World Cup success.
The two best football players of their generation—and, in many people’s eyes, the two best of all time—will likely compete in one final shootout at the World Cup.
There is no doubt that Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have one final opportunity to take home the championship trophy at this year’s event in Qatar. It is unlikely that either will be alive for the following tournament in 2026 when Messi would be 39 and Ronaldo will be 41, despite their own extraordinary endurance.
Pele and Diego Maradona acquired their reputations from their accomplishments on this stage, making them possibly the only two players who can still challenge Messi and Ronaldo for supremacy in history.
Pele won the trophy three times with Brazil, and Maradona led Argentina to victory in 1986. Maradona’s performance created a lasting impression on the competition.
Despite their brilliance, Messi of Argentina and Ronaldo of Portugal have not yet surpassed the two players they have dedicated their entire careers to outdoing.
Their illustrious careers, during which they have shared 12 Ballon d’Or trophies, nine Champions League titles, 18 league titles, and several other honours, are now coming to an end. However, adding the World Cup at a time when both players’ abilities are waning would be the pinnacle.
Recently, Messi has talked with the resignation of a guy who has realised his limitations.
In October, the Argentine said to DirectTV, “I’m happy to be able to participate in this World Cup at 35 years of age. “We’ll see what could happen with my career after this World Cup,” he said.
In the meantime, Ronaldo’s career is in tatters as he travels to Qatar after failing to land a transfer away from Manchester United and being benched by manager Erik ten Hag. He was penalised last month for refusing to play as a substitute against Tottenham by being left off the roster and forced to practise separately from the first team.
It’s impossible to say at this time whether he will be psychologically or physically fit for the World Cup.
A player who consistently raises the bar even in the latter stages of his career cannot be ruled out, either. His 700th club goal of his career was just scored.
Messi currently seems to be ahead of the other top competitors. Despite the fact that he hasn’t exactly replicated his best years at Barcelona since joining Paris Saint-Germain, he is proving to be more influential in his second season in France and the goals are once again coming in.
Given how well they have taken care of their bodies, they are both able to compete at the World Cup.
Former England physiotherapist Dave Hancock, who later served as the New York Knicks’ director of training and performance and is currently the CEO of the sports data management software Apollo, thinks that American athletes have set the example for football players to follow.
Hancock said to The Associated Press, “You see that in a lot of American sports.” “Looking after people like Kevin Durant and Saquon Barkley privately, I’ve seen that throughout the years.
Tom Brady, who you can see is 45 years old. He has a separate guy. They are surrounded by a team, so they understand that the longer they play, the more money they will make.
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