The 2022 FIFA World Cup is expected to be like no other for more reasons than one, as it could be the last dance for several veteran superstars who will represent their nations for one final time.
Those superstars include Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, who have unquestionably been football’s generational talent for the past two decades. Both players have graced the sport’s modern era creating a fictitious rivalry between football fans and experts since the Pele and Maradona “GOAT” debate.
However, despite who you may consider the greatest of all time, both players may soon be hanging up their national jerseys after the Qatar World Cup.
However, prior to qualifying for the World Cup, the 37-year-old Portuguese addressed rumours about whether Qatar will be his last World Cup appearance, stating “I’m the one in charge (of my career), full stop.”
The Manchester United star has always been known for his physical discipline and has yet to show any signs of slowing down. Ronaldo won several awards this year including Manchester United’s Player of the Month in March and EA SPORTS Player of the Month for April.
However, despite nearly everything there is to win in the game, Ronaldo has yet to win a World Cup title. Ronaldo debuted his first World Cup appearance in 2006, leading Portugal to its second-best performance since 1966 as the team would finish fourth. Since then, the Portuguese have struggled as they fell short of any FIFA contesting matches.
Tied with Ronaldo, this will be Messi’s fifth appearance on the world stage. The Argentinian came close to winning the FIFA World Cup in Brazil in 2014 but lost in the finals to Mario Götze’s goal in the 113th minute.
After defeating Venezuela 3-0 in the South American FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifiers, 35-year-old Messi stated that he will rethink his professional future after the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Messi said, “I don’t know what I will do after the World Cup. I am thinking about what is coming. After Qatar, I will have to reassess many things.”
Similar to Ronaldo, Messi is besting his”Father Time” as he currently leads PSG to another dominant Ligue 1 tournament.
Argentina is currently ranked third in the FIFA world rankings, ahead of Portugal which is placed 9th. Drawn in Group C, Messi will face off less demanding teams as Argentina is anticipated to defeat Saudi Arabia, Mexico, and Poland.
Ronaldo’s squad will play in a more challenging group as Ghana, Uruguay, and South Korea will test the Spanish team.
The 2022 Qatar World Cup will begin on November 21st and is projected to be watched by 5 billion people worldwide.