What Gary Lineker has said about Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi before World Cup

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Ladies and gentlemen, the World Cup has arrived.

After weeks of build-up and anticipation, the first game-day of the 2018 tournament in Russia is here and there isn't a single football fan who isn't excited. Supporters are eager to see who will lift the famous trophy, who'll cause a few shocks and how England will fare.

One of the most intriguing features of the competition, though, is its significance for Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

With both players now in their thirties, this summer's tournament seems to represent their last chance to secure football's biggest prize.

Ronaldo and Messi will go down in footballing legend whether they win the trophy or not, but - for many - a victory this summer would settle the debate of who's the greatest of all time.

Ronaldo and Messi at the World Cup

It won't be an easy task for either player, too, with both Argentina and Portugal flying to Russia will relatively weak squads for their reputation and histories.

That's not to say there isn't quality amongst the teams yet they can't quite compare with the likes of Brazil, Spain, Germany and France.

Well, only time will tell who will come out on top this summer but Gary Lineker has attempted to jump the gun in a recent feature article with the Evening Standard.


Lineker on Messi and Ronaldo

Ever the staunch supporter of Messi, Lineker laid down the case for his favourite player and wasn't afraid to criticise Ronaldo in the process.

The Match of the Day presenter penned: "He’s [Messi] not in the best team. You can understand his frustration after losing three finals. They’ve got some decent players but if they do go all the way, it’ll be down to him. He’s a genius.

"People talk about Ronaldo v Messi but the difference is there’s another player who can do anything Ronaldo does — with the exception of hanging in the air for five minutes to head the ball. Messi does three or four things in a game no one else can do.

"He scores as many as Ronaldo but he does everything else as well. He’s the best passer of the ball you’ll see and the best dribbler, certainly in the modern era."

Looks like Ronaldo has quite the task to win over Lineker, then.


Lineker clearly feels that Messi - if he's on his A game - could propel Argentina to something special this summer, but he could be let down by the team around him.

So many supporters want to see the Barcelona talisman lift the trophy after the heartbreak of 2014.

Considering the miraculous run of Portugal two years ago, though, don't write off Ronaldo too quickly.

Do you think either Ronaldo or Messi will win the World Cup? Have your say in the comments section below.

Gary Lineker
Portugal Football
Argentina Football
Brazil Football
England Football
Real Madrid
Lionel Messi
World Cup
Cristiano Ronaldo

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