Football

Santos predicted Ronaldo would continue regardless of the result .

Cristiano Ronaldo wouldn't have retired even if Portugal had lost

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Cristiano Ronaldo has somehow been Portugal's man-of-the-moment despite playing just 25 minutes of the Euro 2016 final against France.

It was always expected that the Real Madrid superstar would grab plenty of the headlines at the tournament's big finale, though not quite for the reasons he did.

Hence why, prior to kick-off, all the talk was focusing on what a big impact Ronaldo has made in getting Portugal to the final.

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But there was one bigger question to be dealt with, and that was what would happen should Portugal lose and Ronaldo fail to win international silverware.

Ronaldo wouldn't have quit 

According to ESPN, when that question was posed to national team boss, Fernando Santos, he may have inadvertently had a little dig at Lionel Messi by suggesting Ronaldo wouldn't quit if they lost.

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"He'll play for another six, seven, 10 years", he said.

"I don't know. But tomorrow won't be his final match."

It's just as well, as sustaining a nasty knee injury and being forced off the field was hardly the send-off he would have wanted.

Then again, Messi's international career was hardly given a glittering finale - if, indeed, it is really over - as he went out by missing a penalty and losing the Copa America final to Chile.

Ronaldo, on the other hand, was instrumental in Portugal's success, scoring three goals and creating three assists to win the Euros' Silver Boot award.

Unfavourable comparisons 

Portugal's win has led to plenty of Ronaldo-Messi comparisons, not least because the Argentinian isn't having the best of times right now.

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Fans around the world were hugely disappointed to hear that Messi had thrown in the towel after losing a fourth final in nine years.

It's pretty unfortunate timing that in the week when Ronaldo became a champion on the international stage, the one thing Messi craves most, the Barca star was given a 21-month suspended sentence for tax evasion.

However, there's every chance Messi's time as Argentina captain hasn't really ended, and when the wounds of his Copa America heartache have healed, he's got Diego Maradona, Mauricio Macri, the country's president, and millions of fans urging him to reconsider pulling on the blue and white jersey again.

Do you think Lionel Messi will come out of retirement? Have your say in the comments. 

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Topics:
Real Madrid
Football
Cristiano Ronaldo
Portugal National Football Team
Lionel Messi
UEFA Champions League
Euro 2016

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