If a player’s greatness is measured by the amount of gold in their trophy cabinet, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo aren’t doing too badly for themselves. However, there is still room for improvement as one major honour remains absent from their arsenal of awards - the World Cup.
In recent years, the La Liga pair have dominated the goal scoring charts and set a benchmark that nobody else has yet to challenge.
Although all is well at domestic level, the duo play for two respective nations that are far from setting the world alight when it comes to international tournaments.
Messi has competed in four major tournaments for Argentina, with his best achievement being a runners-up medal in the 2007 Copa America.
Ronaldo matches the Argentime with a silver medal picked up in 2004, when his Portugal side lost to surprise winners Greece in the European Championship Final.
However, the pinnacle of world football is the prestigious World Cup tournament that takes place every four years and the phenomenal pairing have yet to even make the final with their respective nations.
In fact, Messi hasn’t even reached a semi-final with his South American side as they continue a trophy drought that stretches back to their 1993 Copa America success over Mexico.
There is no doubt that both players will be itching to add a World Cup medal to their collection and match what previous greats such as Pele and Diego Maradona have achieved.
In fairness to their home nations, both the Argentinian and Portuguese world-beaters have yet to replicate the form they have accomplished for Spanish rivals Real Madrid and FC Barcelona.
Perhaps one man is not enough to make a successful team. But, with the 2014 World Cup in Brazil approaching, both players are at the peak of their careers and on a mission to further secure their place in history.
And, with time on their side, surely the two greatest players of the 21st century will not end their careers without winning the biggest prize of all, only time will tell.
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