It would seem that even the mouth-watering prospect of seeing Cristiano Ronaldo face off against Lionel Messi hasn’t been enough to attract supporters to Old Trafford next Tuesday, as only 15,000 fans have bought tickets to see Argentina take on Portugal.
That’s according to BBC Sport, with the match’s organiser, Leo Morales at a loss as to explain why the fixture has managed to attract such a small crowd so far. With both Ronaldo and Messi sitting under the media spotlight this week it was assumed that there was plenty of attraction for neutral fans.
Struggling to fill old Trafford
It appears now though that that notion might not be the case, and with tickets priced at £40 a head, the fortunes of those hoping for a sell-out crowd don't look like changing anytime soon.
"I don't know why we haven't had more sales," Morales explained.
"I don't know why we haven't had more sales"
From an unbiased standpoint the scenario does seem somewhat peculiar. Ronaldo and Messi are without doubt the two greatest players on the planet at the moment and, given the recent rumours over the former’s supposed nickname for the latter, their relationship is one sure to be scrutinised over the coming weeks.
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Ronaldo vs Messi
The initial claim that Ronaldo frequently referred to his arch-rival as ‘mother******’ in the Real Madrid dressing room was made by Spanish journalist Guillem Balague, who said that Los Blancos players had informed him of such.
Ronaldo wasted little time in vehemently denying the accusations after a consequent media storm, but even so it will be interesting to see how he fares when he lines up against Messi come next week.
Portugal vs Argentina
As for the game itself, it may not be a humdinger of World Cup final proportions but there will still be plenty of talent sure to be on show. Fresh from finishing runners-up to Germany in Brazil this summer, Messi and Co. have a point to prove, and the diminutive Argentine will be raring to steal the show.
Portugal on the other hand need to prove that they’re deserved of their tag as one of the world’s best teams - regardless of how loosely they’re clinging on to it. Fernando Santos’s side suffered a shock defeat to Albania in the opening game of the qualifying campaign for Euro 2016, and though they beat Denmark in their last outing question marks are naturally being raised.