Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo will both be acutely aware that they have a golden opportunity to cement their status as the greatest footballer of all time over the next few weeks.
While both players are already considered bonafide all-time greats, neither has a World Cup winners’ medal in his collection.
Many football fans still believe that in order to be recognised as the greatest footballer ever, you need to win a World Cup, just like Pele and Diego Maradona managed to do during their illustrious careers.
Messi went agonisingly close to doing just that four years ago in Brazil, where he finished as a runner-up with Argentina, while Ronaldo has never come close to winning football’s most prestigious trophy.
He did, however, manage to win the European Championships with Portugal two years ago.
For both superstars, this is likely to be their final World Cup at their peak.
Messi will be 35 by the time the 2022 World Cup finals in Qatar get underway; Ronaldo will be almost 38.
Ronaldo has given his views on Messi and Cristiano
One legendary player who did manage to win the World Cup during his career is the Brazilian icon Ronaldo, the second-highest goalscorer in World Cup history behind Miroslav Klose.
Ahead of the big kick-off on Thursday, Ronaldo has given his views about the two players who have dominated world football for the past 10 years.
And in the process, the 41-year-old has nailed the difference between the Real Madrid and Barcelona maestros.
Not everybody will agree, but it's his honest opinion.
Ronaldo: The difference between Messi and Cristiano
"With his incredible attitude, with his incredible winning mentality, Cristiano Ronaldo is a unique player,” Ronaldo is quoted as telling Bild by Spanish newspaper Marca.
"But I admit that Lionel Messi brings even more magic to football.
"With his dribbling, his complete form of playing football and his ability to generate surprising situations in the attacks."
Many people will agree with Ronaldo that Messi brings even more magic to football than Cristiano, although it’s safe to assume a lot of others will firmly disagree.
However, Ronaldo is a huge fan of his namesake and believes he’s improved immeasurably as a player since leaving Manchester United for Real Madrid nine years ago.
"He is technically very well versed," the Brazilian continued. "Time will tell what position history has reserved for him.
"The best thing that could've happened was to move to Real Madrid, but at Manchester United it was incredible the number of goals he scored.
"At Real he's become even more complete, but the truth is that winning a World Cup always helps when it comes to entering history as the greatest."
Do you agree with Ronaldo that Messi brings more magic to football than Cristiano? Have your say by leaving a comment below.
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