New Delhi: Three years, Three finals and Three Knockouts for Lionel Messi and Argentina. The Seleccion No. 10 succumbed to pressure and announced his retirement from International Football to the surprise of many but his true fans will understand the insurmountable load he was carrying on his shoulders to earn a winner's medal for the national team.
It is probably the time to put Cristiano Ronaldo's career for the national team in scrutiny as well. The Portuguese capatin is in constant competition with Lionel Messi, be it the no. of goals they score, the no. of titles they win or the no. of followers they have. Here are some of the similarities between Ronaldo and Messi's International career-
- Both made their debut for the national team at the age of 18.
- With 55 goals in 113 games, Messi has a very similar match-to-goal ratio to that of Ronaldo with 50 goals in 130 games.
- Both players captain their respective national sides.
- While Ronaldo's total wealth is valued at USD 79.6 million, Messi's total is at USD 73.8 million
- Messi presently sit with 5 Ballon d'Ors to his name while Ronaldo is second with 3.
Ronaldo's prime achievement with Portual has been a runners-up medal at Euro 2004 and Messi too fell on the final hurdle during Copa America, 2007, 2015, 2016 and World Cup 2014.
Lionel Messi has already revealed plans for the rest of his footballling career, but what is Cristiano Ronaldo planning if he fails to guide Portugal all the way?
Very similar to Messi, Ronaldo too has been at the focus of similar criticism of being able to earn a silverware with his national team. Looking at the present performance and possible fixtures, he might not even get a better opportunity to end the drought.
The 31-year-old's side next face Poland in the quarter-finals in Marseille, while a high-profile encounter with Real Madrid teammate Gareth Bale's Wales or Belgium could be on the cards.
The former Manchester United man might bring an end to his career for Portugal without earning a sliverware, but what remains to be seen is how he reacts to the criticism if Fernando Santos' men get knocked out of the tournament anytime soon.
Will Ronaldo stand firm and try once again or he too will quit International football like his compatriot Messi?
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