The World Cup in Qatar brought an end to the greatest rivalry in recent footballing history between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Messi fulfilled a lifelong ambition, leading Argentina to the trophy while Ronaldo’s curtain call in the tournament came eight days earlier with Portugal’s exit at the hands of Morocco. The FIFA Best Awards saw Messi win the Best Men’s Player award, while Ronaldo didn’t even make the 14-man shortlist. Ronaldo was also absent from the event, opting to remain in Saudi Arabia, where he will play the twilight of his career in front of hundreds of fans on YouTube.
There is speculation that Ronaldo may retire from international football, as he has yet to commit to playing or relinquish the captain’s armband. Pepe, who voted for the award Messi ultimately won, may have given a hint that Ronaldo has silently given up the captaincy. Speaking after Portugal’s emotional elimination, Ronaldo hinted that his time with the Selecao may come to an end. However, he later stated that he intends to play on, and his Portugal future will be cleared up imminently as international fixtures are scheduled later this month.
At club level, Ronaldo insists he can play until over the age of 40, and his current employers are still convinced he will eventually retire back in Europe. Ronaldo’s future remains uncertain, but his achievements are undeniable. He has won many titles of international dimension, including Portugal, but putting Portugal’s name on the highest foot in the world was his biggest dream. He fought hard for this dream, always by the side of great players and supported by millions of Portuguese. He gave his all in the five appearances he scored in World Cups over 16 years and never turned his face to the fight, never giving up on that dream.
In conclusion, the World Cup in Qatar marked the end of an era in footballing history with Messi fulfilling his lifelong ambition, and Ronaldo’s future remaining uncertain. Ronaldo’s achievements are undeniable, and his dedication to Portugal hasn’t changed for a moment. He fought hard for his dream, and although it may have ended, he never turned his back on his colleagues and his country. The next chapter in Ronaldo’s career remains to be seen, but his impact on football will always be remembered.