“In history books, all other records will be there” - When Cristiano Ronaldo commented on whether Lionel Messi's World Cup win settled the GOAT debate

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo

Soon after Lionel Messi led Argentina to the FIFA World Cup in 2022, Cristiano Ronaldo made his views clear on whether the win settled the GOAT debate.

Lionel Messi was at the top of his game during the World Cup, scoring seven goals and providing three assists in seven games. He also picked up the Player of the Tournament award.

To many, Messi settled the GOAT debate against Cristiano Ronaldo with the triumph and also solidified his position as the greatest footballer of all time. However, speaking on the subject, the Portuguese disagreed with this notion and maintained that there would always be some who would prefer him over Messi.

"Even if I win the World Cup that will continue," the five-time Ballon d'Or winner said in an interview shortly after the 2022 World Cup (via SPORTbible).
"Some people like me more, some less. It’s like in life, some like blondes, some like brunettes. I have always had to show what I can do year after year. I would love to win this tournament," he added.

Cristiano Ronaldo subsequently admitted that it would be a dream come true for him to win the World Cup but insisted failure to do so won't define his legacy.

"I’m ambitious but if you tell me I won’t win any more tournaments I would still be happy given all I have won. In the history books, all other records will be there. But obviously, a World Cup on the shelf wouldn’t be bad. It would be a dream," he added.

The next World Cup will be played in 2026. It will be jointly hosted by three North American countries in Canada, Mexico, and the United States.

Will Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo participate in the 2026 FIFA World Cup?

It's still unclear whether we'll see Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo representing their respective countries at the World Cup in 2026. Although the fans would love to witness one last dance from the iconic duo, the chances aren't very bright.

In 2026, the Portuguese would be 41 years old while the Argentine would've turned 39. There is a slight possibility that they would manage to drag themselves to the competition, but it would highly depend on how their bodies fare over the next two years.

Messi has always admitted that taking part in the 2026 World Cup would be difficult.

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Edited by Sankalp Srivastava