John Arne Riise names one big difference between Lionel Messi and Neymar/Cristiano Ronaldo

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The World Cup is so special because it brings together the very best players from across the globe as they go head-to-head for the greatest prize in football.

Careers can be made with good performances on the world stage.

The likes of Pele and Diego Maradona became national heroes for their performances in this competition, helping their respective countries lift the trophy.

The aforementioned duo are considered two of the best players to have ever played the game.

The younger generation would argue that Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are far superior despite the fact they haven’t produced the goods at the World Cup.

The two superstars - along with Neymar - have now all played once for their countries during this current World Cup and it’s fair to say they've had contrasting fortunes.

While Ronaldo bagged a hat-trick for Portugal against Spain, Messi missed a penalty during Argentina’s 1-1 draw with Iceland, while Neymar was repeatedly fouled as Brazil drew 1-1 with Switzerland.


Advantage Cristiano, then.

However, former Liverpool player John Arne Riise has noticed one thing that Messi isn’t doing that separates him from Ronaldo and Neymar - and he loves him for it.

So far during this tournament, the officiating has been pretty good - obviously helped by VAR.

However, Riise has noticed what Neymar and Ronaldo - as well as other ‘top players’ - have done during this World Cup.

Following Brazil’s draw with Switzerland, Riise wrote: “Neymar, C Ronaldo and a lot of the top players are rolling around when they get fouled. Complaining. Gesturing to referee. Messi doesn’t. Gets up and gets on with it. One of the reasons why I love him!”

Riise has actually made a good point.

Messi is renowned for trying to stay on his feet as much as possible, despite opponents trying to foul him at every opportunity.

On the other hand, Ronaldo was criticised on two counts for going to ground too easily against Spain when he won a penalty and his late free-kick.


Meanwhile, Neymar was fouled 10 times against Switzerland and was clearly annoyed by the opponent’s tactics.

But the Paris Saint-Germain man was constantly rolling on the turf and moaning to the referee.

It must have been incredibly frustrating for him but it’s not something you’d see Messi do. And it’s something we must credit the Argentine superstar for…

John Arne Riise
Portugal Football
Spain Football
Brazil Football
La Liga
Lionel Messi
Cristiano Ronaldo

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