Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are two of the incredible players that will light up the World Cup in Russia this month. These amazing superstars have dominated the football world for a long time, sharing the last 10 Ballon d'Or awards between them.
They have also won multiple trophies including the UEFA Champions League, the UEFA Super Cup, the Copa Del Rey, the La Liga title, the Spanish Super Cup among others. While these two superstars have excelled while representing their respective clubs, their achievements at the international level are not very impressive.
Cristiano Ronaldo currently has the edge over his rival after leading Portugal to claim the Euros in 2016 but he is still a long way back when it comes to the biggest stage in the sport - the World Cup (a competition in which Messi has also failed).
However, the two superstars have the opportunity to make up for their failures in the tournament this year. After leading Argentina to the final of the competition in 2014, all eyes are on Lionel Messi to win the prestigious trophy for his nation in Russia.
But despite that, below are 4 reasons that prove that Cristiano Ronaldo has more chances of winning the trophy ahead of his eternal rival:
#4. Portugal is performing better than Argentina at the moment
Football is a team sport. Even the most talented players in the world still need the support of their teammates in order to keep them rolling. While Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are both fantastic superstars, their individual brilliance might not be enough to lead their respective nations to claim football's most coveted prize in Russia. This is why they also need strong and hard-working teams behind them to succeed in the tournament.
Looking at the recent performances of both nations, it is true that Ronaldo has a better team behind him. Portugal might not have many world-class superstars like Argentina, but they managed to produce better results in their recent matches, evidently earning a vital 3-3 draw against Spain in the tournament. They have also proved in the past that they can produce spectacular performances in the absence of their star man.
Let's derive a typical instance from the Euro 2016 final. Despite Ronaldo's injury in the game, his teammates stepped up at the vital moment and led their nation to glory. Argentina, on the other hand, has failed to inspire their hero to triumph at the important moments. Despite the quality of the team, they still rely heavily on the brilliance of their talisman. In fact, they almost missed out on the World Cup this year. It was Messi who came to their aid, scoring a fantastic hat-trick against Ecuador to send them through.
It becomes even more embarrassing to learn that the last time any player other than the Barca maestro scored in an official game for Argentina was about 19 months ago (12 official matches), which is over 570 days.
With a better team behind Ronaldo, the Portuguese definitely has more chances of claiming the World Cup than his counterpart this year.