FIFA World Cup

2018 FIFA WC: The Messi vs Ronaldo battle this season, before it begins in Russia


XtraTime Web Desk:
The rivalry between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi has been the biggest talking point in the last few FIFA World Cups. The two best players in the planet will again be playing in Russia for the only trophy which they have never won in their illustrious careers. No surprise, they will be fighting for the coveted title in Russia as well. Before going into the mega event, lets take a look at their performances this season:is season

Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid and Portugal)
Appearances: 47
Goals: 48
Assists: 10
Achievements: FIFA Club World Cup 2017 winner, Spanish Supercopa winner, UEFA Super Cup winner, UEFA Champions League finalist

Lionel Messi (Barcelona and Argentina)
Appearances: 56
Goals: 46
Assists: 18
Achievements: La Liga winner, Copa del Rey winner

In their favour
Ronaldo has undergone a clear transformation over the last season or so, with his all-action status being pragmatically swapped out for more of a penalty-box finisher role. Having arguably not had a clinical striker since Pauleta hung up his boots after Germany 2006, Ronaldo focusing solely on this task could be a major benefit for the European champions.

Even without Messi, Argentina would arguably have the most overflowing array of resources when it comes to attacking talent. Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain, Angel Di Maria, Paulo Dybala and Mauro Icardi would walk into most teams, so with such a varied array of forwards, the pieces are there to craft a devastating frontline if Jorge Sampaoli can get the balance right.

Where they have fallen before

2006: Semi-final, 1-0 v France
2010: Round of 16, 1-0 v Spain
2014: Group stage
2006: Quarter-final, 1-1 (4-2 PSO) v Germany
2010: Quarter-final, 4-0 v Germany
2014: Final, 1-0 AET v Germany


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