The 14 days that changed the Messi v Ronaldo debate

Photo courtesy of Asif Burhan.

Photo courtesy of Asif Burhan.

A lot can happen in two weeks. Just ask Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. A fortnight ago it looked like Messi would be bringing a trophy to Argentina, a country largely at war with it’s superstar. While Ronaldo’s Portugal hardly looked poised to win anything. Portugal has finished third in their group (behind lesser heralded Iceland and Hungary) and hardly even make the knock-stage thanks to new formatting.

Before the ink of that narrative began to dry, the script was flipped. Messi would miss a crucial penalty and Argentina would lose in a championship game in three consecutive tournaments. Ronaldo meanwhile through moxie and grace (not a hair was out of place), would drag that same group of underachievers to the European Cup Final.

Under the microscope of another year where they won only the silver, those little hits that were shrugged off previously as small transgressions become unavoidable targets. Messi’s tax court–court for his home country, but adopted home of Spain they’ll remind you–found him guilty and issued a jail sentence.

Down and possibly out of Argentina's plans?

Down and possibly out of Argentina’s plans?

‘If Messi had successfully bilked Spain out of his superstar riches, just imagine what he hasn’t done for his born home Argentina!’, the thinking went.

It doesn’t help matters in the slightest that Argentina is now out of the Summer Olympics in neighboring Brazil. Another lost opportunity. Another coach let go. And now, the greatest player in modern world football, has announced his retirement. That’s a tough blow for a nation already crippled by financial woes and corruption extending, of course, to it’s football body.

Even attempts to rejuvenate Messi’s suddenly battered image haven’t gone well. A would-be viral campaign by his club team to show solidarity with Messi ended spectacularly.

Ronaldo meanwhile lead a resistance that rallied past Croatia in extra time ultimately advancing to defeat Wales, the story of grit and determination of this edition of the Euros . Getting Portugal through to the final is enough to preserve Ronaldo status as Portugal’s best ever. Winning would cement his legend in vibranium.


About Author

Comments are closed.