After a long hiatus we’re back and right in time for the World Cup. If I was in charge of Netflix, Disney plus or Prime I would’ve had cameras following around Portugal and Argentina the last 2 years and in particular Ronaldo and Messi. I would’ve focused on their World Cup qualifying campaign and how those players are faring in their World Cup preparation, everyone knows this is their last World Cup, it’s a no brainer, Netflix dropped the ball. I was initially going to call it the ‘The Last Dance’ ala Netflix’s doc on the 98 Chicago bulls but didn’t want a copyright case on my ass so changed the name. I prefer the new name too, it’s more fitting for what the article is about and what this WC represents. But anyways enough of that, time to get into.
My GOAT.TBE The Best Ever. Not much about him in the news recently…He’s going into this tournament in the worst form of his career, which is a damn shame since this is the best squad he’s at with Portugal. Everyone’s writing him off, saying he’s finished but history suggests he always bounces back when his critics are loudest, obviously its not the same Ronaldo but I still think he’s got something to give, I’ll always back him. There’s added pressure to deliver now since he basically has no club at the moment, a bad showing and things could get sticky for him.
Best World Cup run
His best run at the World Cup with Portugal was actually his first tournament where Portugal came 4th place, this was the tournament with the infamous wink that you could say kick started Ronaldo to become the player he is today. He got Rooney sent off and Portugal later beat England in the penalty shootout. He converted the winning penalty knocking England out of the quarter finals after Jamie Carragher’s miss.
When he returned to England after the tournament, he was booed in every ground and the English media obsession that we still see today was born. He let the backlash from the wink and England’s exit fuel him to becoming the World’s best. This time around he’ll be hoping the criticism and backlash from his club form and recent interview can act as fuel for the World Cup.
Everyone else’s GOAT. Contrary to Ronnie, he’s in red hot form and Argentina are amongst most people’s favourites to win it. On paper he’s played in better Argentina teams but this is probably the most cohesive unit and best “team” he’s had internationally. After losing countless Copa America finals they finally managed to win the big one last year and are currently on a 36 game win streak. So the favourites tag is pretty justified. What’s crazy is just like Ronaldo, Messi has no knockout stage world cup goal. Surely something has gotta give this time, it will be his 5th world cup and if Argentina go all the way he’ll be the most capped player in World cup history.
Best World Cup run
It’s gotta be 2014, they made it to the finals and he won the golden ball, even though I think Di Maria probably deserved it more. He had a quiet Knockout stage but in the groups he carried them through. It’s crazy to think he was so close to getting his hands on the trophy in 2014, if he and Higuain had converted their chances I wouldn’t even be writing about Messi in this article. I really do like his chances this time, I think the Ballon D’or shortlist snub pissed him off and he’s showed it this season with 12 goals and 14 assists. If they can make it into the deep rounds again I think he’ll deliver them the trophy this time around.
Who needs it more?
Everyone always says you need to do it for your country, and both have delivered in their continental competitions but the WC is different. For most The GOAT debate would be over if either of them were to win it. But who needs it more? For me its Ronaldo, he’s at a stage in his career where everyone believes he’s finished, it doesn’t look like he has many options at club level and also the majority of football fans believe Messi is the GOAT. If Portugal were to win, it could go down as one of the greatest comebacks ever, whereas a bad performance from Ronaldo and Portugal could really mean the end.
Before anyone says of course I would say this, does a poor world cup from Messi really mean too much in the grand scheme of things? He’ll go back to Paris and win the Uber eats and most likely win the Champions League too this season, I don’t think he necessarily needs this World Cup, a good showing and a late KO exit would be a good last World cup for him.
Their Last Chance
There’s a good chance neither get their hands on the trophy but at the very least I think fans of both would love for them to get their first Knockout stage goal and provide us with one last iconic International moment each!
Thanks for reading!
It’s good to be back!