Liverpool legend John Barnes has explained what has set Argentina captain Lionel Messi apart from Portugal icon Cristiano Ronaldo at the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have been two of the biggest talking points of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. However, the two superstars grabbed headlines for different reasons in Qatar.
Ronaldo was a major subject of discussion even before a ball was kicked in Qatar as he had his deal with Manchester United terminated. He was then relegated to the bench for Portugal’s knockout ties against Switzerland and Morocco before being eliminated.
Messi, on the other hand, has fired Argentina into the final of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. He will now be hopeful of getting his hands on the trophy when La Albiceleste face reigning champions France on December 18.
Barnes has now explained why Messi and Ronaldo have had contrasting campaigns in Qatar. The Liverpool great claimed that the Argentinian brings harmony to his team. He told Bonus Code Bets:
“He’s not the Messi of old, obviously, because he can’t run around and do what he did. But in the fleeting moments, you can see the quality he actually has.”
“More importantly, it’s about the harmony and the unity he brings within the team which is very different from Cristiano Ronaldo. And it’s different for Messi because he’s not a bit-part player, so he doesn’t come off and still plays.”
Barnes also explained why Messi has been his favorite player at the 2022 FIFA World Cup:
“He has been sensational with his leadership qualities for the team. His camaraderie with his teammates, even when he doesn’t score or they don’t pass to him, that’s why he’s been my favorite player.”
How many goals have Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo scored in Qatar?
Cristiano Ronaldo managed to score just one goal for Portugal at the 2022 FIFA World Cup. He failed to find the back of the net for Selecao after netting a penalty in the 3-2 win over Ghana in their opener.
Lionel Messi, on the other hand, has found the back of the net five times for Argentina in six matches. He is the joint top scorer in the tournament alongside Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) teammate Kylian Mbappe.
The 35-year-old has also provided three assists for his teammates in Qatar so far. He is thus a strong candidate to win both the Golden Ball and Golden Boot, as well as the World Cup itself.
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