By Dylan Bettencourt
For decades now football fans have argued endlessly over whether Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo was the greatest ever footballer – but that debate is now looking closer than ever to being settled.
Besides the World Cup in Qatar providing non-stop entertainment, it has also put to bed the debate about who the greatest of all time – the goat – is in football.
Arguments could be made for both Messi and Ronaldo throughout the years. However, there has always been one accolade which has evaded both players, and which could settle the debate if one were to achieve it.
Neither Messi or Ronaldo has ever won the World Cup. The Argentine has come the closest, making it to the final in 2014, and sweeping up the player of the tournament award, but failing to win the coveted prize.
With both players coming to the end of their careers and with Qatar probably being their last World Cups, one player has stepped up while the other, at best, has remained in the shadows.
So far, Messi’s performance has all but settled that he will go down in football history as the best player of all-time.
He has been the standout performer in Qatar, leading his country from the front with some mesmerising displays.
The Paris Saint-Germain attacker has scored five goals and assisted three, to put his side into the World Cup final.
The 35-year-old has won four man of the match awards in only six fixtures.
Ronaldo has managed to score only one goal and was banished to the bench during Portugal’s knockout fixtures after disgracing himself with his manager.
It seemed evident that if either player was to win the World Cup the debate would be settled – but that may no longer be the case.
The difference between Messi and Ronaldo has been like night and day, making it harder to argue for the Portuguese striker.
If Argentina were to win the World Cup this Sunday, there would be no question about who would be remembered as the better player.
And it feels written in the stars that Messi will finally lift that World Cup trophy in what is likely to be his final attempt, lest a certain Kylian Mbappe has anything to say about it.
Pictured above: Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo
Image source: TeamTALK