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6 players who stopped both Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi

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Arne Friedrich vs Lionel Messi

FIFA World Cup 2010 quarter-final (Argentina 0-4 Germany)

Arne Friedrich vs Lionel Messi

Having watched from the bench as his side were ousted by Germany in a penalty shootout loss in the 2006 World Cup quarter-final, Lionel Messi was determined to make Die Mannschaft pay for it. The two teams met again at the World Cup in 2010, again in the quarter-finals but this time the result was far more humiliating.

Joachim Low’s side annihilated Diego Maradona’s Argentina en route to recording a 4-0 win. Thomas Muller opened the scoring in only the third minute of the game before Miroslav Klose netted twice on either side of Arne Freidrich’s strike.

Friedrich who had denied Ronaldo at the 2008 Euros starting at right-back, was starting in the heart of defence and kept the mercurial Messi subdued, who was playing in the hole behind Higuain and Tevez. Such was the dominance of the German defence that La Albiceleste were forced into taking hopeful long-distance shots for the majority of the game.

The central defensive pairing of Friedrich and Mertesacker kept the vaunted attack of Argentina at bay and Messi was forced to drop deeper and try and make things happen but he was only able to have limited to no impact. The diminutive Argentine was left in tears after the game and Maradona resigned immediately after from his post.

The South American nation’s hopes of winning their first World Cup in 24 years were dashed and Messi was heavily criticized back home for not being able to guide an average team to the pinnacle of world football, a feat that Maradona had managed to pull off in 1986.

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