A World Cup win for either Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi would not settle the debate around the pair, says the Portugal captain.
Cristiano Ronaldo hopes he can be the man to “checkmate” Lionel Messi at Qatar 2022, but he does not believe a World Cup win for Portugal would end football’s ‘GOAT’ debate.
Ronaldo and Messi are two of the sport’s modern-day greats, with each player’s supporters claiming they are the greatest of all time.
However, despite Portugal’s European Championship success and Argentina’s Copa America triumph last year, neither has won the biggest team award of all.
Ronaldo has endured a difficult season at Manchester United, yet arrives in Qatar confident, even if he does not believe he has anything to prove.
“Even if I won the World Cup, there would be this debate,” he said on Monday. “It’s like everything, there are some who like blondes more, others like brunettes…
“I’m an ambitious player, I’d like to win this competition, but if I don’t, I’ll be happy with everything I’ve done so far.
“If they had told me I wasn’t going to win the title again, I would have been proud of what I did.
“[Winning the World Cup] was a dream for me; it’s possible, but we’ll see. I hope all energies are on our side.”
Ronaldo and Messi are arch-rivals, but before the final they posed together for a game of chess in a Louis Vuitton ad campaign.
Should Portugal and Argentina win their groups, the pair would not meet on the pitch until the final on 18 December.
“It was a campaign I did and wanted for many years,” Ronaldo said of the ad. “I have fulfilled my dream to be able to do this, everyone knows the greatness of this brand.
“It will be my fifth World Cup. I am focused and extremely optimistic that it will go well.”
“The chess we do in life is not only in chess. And I do it often.
“I don’t know how to say it directly, but I would like to be the one to checkmate against him [Messi]. It would be beautiful to happen, it has already happened in the game of chess and in football. it would be even more beautiful .”
Ronaldo and Messi have only met twice at international level, with Portugal and Argentina winning one friendly each.