QATAR World Cup 2022

Messi v Ronaldo at the 2022 World Cup

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The 2022 World Cup in Qatar will likely be the last dance for two of Football’s legends. Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have become iconic figures in the sport, but age is catching up with them. Messi will be 39 by the time the 2026 World Cup rolls around, while Ronaldo will be 41. So, it seems likely that 2022 will mark their final appearance at the tournament.

Both players have played for massive clubs, scored an obscene number of goals and clinched plenty of silverware. However, neither has ever won the World Cup, and this could be the last roll of the dice for one of them to get their hands on the trophy. That means the stakes are high. Winning the World Cup would be huge for their legacies and could help settle the GOAT debate once and for all.

Our Football Betting markets have Argentina and Portugal among the contenders at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Can either Messi or Ronaldo make even more history by leading their nation to glory in the first-ever winter World Cup? Well, we will have to wait and see. However, we can look at how the pair have previously performed on the world’s biggest stage.

Lionel Messi World Cup Stats

Lionel Messi made his World Cup debut for Argentina in 2006. After watching their first game against the Ivory Coast from the bench, he became Argentina’s youngest-ever World Cup player with his substitute appearance against Serbia and Montenegro. The Rosario-born star made an immediate impact, assisting and scoring in his 14-minute cameo and becoming the sixth youngest World Cup goal scorer in history.

Since then, Messi has played in the 2010, 2014 and 2018 editions of the World Cup. His best performance came in 2014 in Brazil. He captained the side and scored four goals as the South Americans were beaten finalists, losing 1-0 to Germany. Messi’s displays attracted attention, and he won the Golden Ball award.

Lionel Messi World Cup Fact File

Appearances 19
Goals 6
Assists 5
Hat-Tricks 0
Goals Per Game 0.32
Match Wins 13
Man of the Match Awards 6
Individual Tournament Awards 1
Best World Cup Finish Runner-Up (2014)

 

Overall, Messi has a solid record at the World Cup. He averages a goal involvement every 147.6 minutes and has come close to getting his hands on the famous trophy. He will hope that 2022 is his year – Argentina are among the favourites in the Outright World Cup Betting.

Cristiano Ronaldo World Cup Stats

Like Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo’s first World Cup was the 2006 edition in Germany. He started Portugal’s opening match against Angola before scoring his first goal in their second fixture against Iran at the tournament. Ronaldo went on to play a vital role for his country as they reached the semi-finals of that tournament, scoring his penalty in their shootout win over England.

The Madeira-born ace has since captained Portugal at the World Cups in 2010, 2014 and 2018. He has played every minute of every match for his country during those three tournaments, with his highlight being a fantastic hat-trick against Spain four years ago.

Cristiano Ronaldo World Cup Fact File

Appearances 17
Goals 7
Assists 2
Hat-Tricks 1
Goals Per Game 0.41
Match Wins 7
Man of the Match Awards 6
Individual Tournament Awards 0
Best World Cup Finish Fourth Place (2006)

 

As you would expect, Ronaldo’s World Cup stats are excellent. He averages a goal involvement every 163.8 minutes and has been named man of the match in 35.29% of his appearances. Ronaldo has led his team to Euros and Nations League victories. Can he clinch the final piece of the puzzle with a World Cup win in Qatar in 2022? Bet on World Cup matches involving Portugal on the BetVictor Sportsbook.

Messi and Ronaldo Previous International Meetings

During the era of Messi and Ronaldo, there have only been two international meetings between Argentina and Portugal. The first was a friendly in Geneva in 2011, when the South Americans won 2-1, and both players were on the scoresheet. They played again in another friendly in 2014, Portugal won it 1-0, and both players captained their teams.

Argentina and Portugal have been drawn into separate groups at the 2022 World Cup, so we will not see Messi and Ronaldo locking horns early in the tournament. But there are ways for the legendary duo to come face to face in the latter stages.

If La Albiceleste and A Seleção both win their group or both finish as runners-up, they cannot face each other until the final. However, if one wins their group and the other finishes second, they could meet in the semi-finals.

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