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Will we witness Messi vs Ronaldo at this World Cup?

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483   //    30 Jun 2018, 16:11 IST

FIFA Ballon d'Or Gala 2015

What would it take for our little hearts to erupt like a volcano and our emotions to flow like lava? Yes, it would be the two of the greatest of our generation, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to go toe to toe at the greatest stage of them all; FIFA World Cup. It would be a match made in heaven there would be drama, thrill and action. But for that to happen both of their teams; Argentina and Portugal respectively, would have to qualify the round of 16 which is set to take place today. And task at their hands is not so small, both of them have qualified at second places from their groups at the group stages after a lot of drama in their final matches and have to face teams who have topped their groups.

Portugal is up against the mighty Uruguay who has yet to concede a goal with their captain Diego Godin taking the reigns of the defense and their strikers; Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani, reviving their form in the group matches, whereas Portugal's defense has not looked so strong of late, only one player giving everything in the game in the form of Pepe and strikers have struggled to create opportunities at the front. In the game against Spain, it was Ronaldo's hat-trick that saved them and against Iran, Quaresma's unbelievable goal that saved them from elimination. If they have to qualify for the quarter-finals then it would take a full-fledged team effort against the team which is united in its search for third World Cup trophy.

Argentina is running in the tournament as a dark horse, with only one win in the group stages, they will be up against a team which looks strong at every front with big names to their squad; Antoine Grizzman, Paul Pogba, Kylian Mbappe and Samuel Umtiti to name some. Messi will have a great task at his hand, with his defense looking vulnerable at group stages and middle order struggling to play, everything would depend on his skills. It would also require coach Jorge Sampaoli to come up with some major changes and tactics in the play. The team is united but lacks young talent, which makes them look lazy and vulnerable.

As both, the players are in their 30s, who knows whether they would be playing the next world cup or not. This may be the last world cup for either of them and also the last opportunity to prove who is the best in the world. And for that to happen we will need the best skills of Ronaldo and incredulous performance from Messi to beat their opponents at the group of 16 and qualify for the quarter-finals, where they will collide for the match of the century; if it happens. May the force be with them.

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