Cristiano Ronaldo has been criticized for his performances at World Cup 2022, while Lionel Messi has been described as “the player of the millennium”.
- Messi wins World Cup
- Ronaldo out in quarter-finals
- Matthaus delivers his verdict
WHAT HAPPENED? Germany legend Lothar Matthaus has shared his thoughts on superstars Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo at World Cup 2022. Messi captained Argentina to success, picking up the Golden Ball for the tournament’s best player along the way. However, there was disappointment for Ronaldo, who was benched in the knockout stages as Portugal went out to Morocco.
WHAT THEY SAID: “With his ego trips, Ronaldo has damaged the team and himself. There is no doubt that he was a great player and an absolutely lethal finisher. But now he has damaged his legacy. I find it hard to think that he can find a place in a team. I kind of feel sorry for Ronaldo,” Matthaus told Bild. Ronaldo is of course a big failure of the World Cup, the opposite of Messi. [Messi is] the absolute winner. He deserves it because he has given me and all football fans great joy with his qualities and the way he plays over 17-18 years. For me, Messi is the player of the millennium.
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Qatar 2022 is expected to be the last World Cup for both players. Messi cemented his legacy as the greatest player of all time by winning the one trophy that had eluded him in his phenomenal career so far in Qatar. Yet it was a different story altogether for Ronaldo, who ended up being benched for Portugal’s two knockout stage games after annoying manager Fernando Santos with his reaction to being substituted against South Korea.
IN TWO PHOTOS:
WHAT NEXT? Messi is heading back to Argentina to celebrate the team’s World Cup triumph, while Ronaldo is currently searching for a new club after leaving Manchester United in November.