With the elimination of Argentina and Portugal, it also means the departure of Lionel Messi and Christiano Ronaldo in the World Cup. 2 of the greatest player in the modern ear and maybe the best of all time, these 2-player unable to provide a magical moment in the World Cup crucial stages and lifting the trophy with their respective national team. Ronaldo had lifted the European cup in 2016 and Messi had come close in 2014 but however if both are unable to fit the trophy in the next World Cup , then they will join Alfredo Di Stefano, Johan Cruyff, Michel Platini, Zico, George Best, Ferenc Puskas and many other whom had great success with their club but does not lift the World Cup trophy. The story of both players brings me to other sportsmen stories.
Malaysia is a badminton crazy country and they had become the first Thomas Cup winner. Currently, the best badminton player that comes from Malaysia is nonother than Datuk Lee Chong Wei who had some exceptional skill in badminton. However, he is unable to win the Olympic Medal and World Champion as he is born on some time as another player from China Lin Dan. Where Lee Chong Wei is a great player, Lin Dan had proven himself time and time again that he is in a different level altogether as his intelligent play and great mental strength in the crucial time provide a stumbling block for Lee Chong Wei and simply Lee Chong Wei peaked in the wrong time.
The story of the Lee Chong Wei is like the story for both Messi and Ronaldo as both players had peaked at the wrong time with the national team. When Messi arrived in the scene in 2006, he was good but fragile and injury prone. It is Pep Guardiola who transformed Messi into a great player that he was and since then he is thoroughly consistent with some unbelievable record achieved and with some breathtaking display with Barcelona.
Ronaldo meanwhile introduced to the world when he makes his debut for Manchester United in 2004, from then on he had gone strength to strength and become the first United player to win the World Player of Year Award in 2008 and scoring an astonishing 42 goals the highest by a United winger. Under Ferguson he had transformed the skinny young boy from Madeira Portugal to one of the best players in the world had ever seen. Where Messi is perfect attacking playmaker, Ronaldo is perfect goal scoring machine. Still, with all their inhumane abilities, they are unable to win the World Cup with the nation.
Ironically both Ronaldo and Messi had peaked at the wrong time for the national team. Where both had peaked exactly in the right time with their club where Barcelona is dominating the club football with their tiki-taka football under Guardiola which Messi was the vital point and Ronaldo also peaked when Ferguson decided to create a great attacking trio with Carlos Tevez and Wayne Rooney thing is changing quite dramatically with their national team.
They are some myth surrounding Maradona where it is said that he is carried a mediocre team to the World Cup triumph in 1986 and become runner-up in the 1990 World Cup which is not the case. Maradona had a great manager Carlos Bilardo whom can play great attacking football and cynical defensive football with their defensive is marshalled by the one for the greatest defender that come from South America Oscar Ruggeri, a midfield maestro in the Sergio Batista, and finally a good striker in Jorge Valdano and Luis Enrique, Maradona had all the quality needed to make the team clicked and the player willing to help him. Similarly, in 1990, he had a great speedster in the form of Claudio Caniggia who is one of the greatest striker form Argentina.
When comes to Portugal, when they won the Euro 2016 they had won it with a defensive football which is not the case with the Portugal team in the past. They had Luis Figo, Rui Costa, Ricardo Carvalho, Victor Baia, Deco, and Maniche. For Argentina, during the post-Maradona era, they had still had some great players in the form of Gabriel Batistuta, Juan Sebastian Veron, Fernando Redondo, Roberto Ayala, Javier Zanetti and many more. In 2006 World Cup they had one of the greatest playmakers that come from South America Juan Roman Riquelme.
During Messi peak time in 2010, 2014 and in the current World Cup he did not have these types of player. If Gonzalo Higuain and Palacio had not wasted their chance in the final like Valdano, Luis Enrique, and Claudio Caniggia, Messi may have laid his hand on the trophy. If Valdano and Caniggia had wasted their chance similar to Higuain then Argentina may not have won, the cup yet and the myth of Maradona will not be born.
Similarly, with Portugal, the manager needs the player to play a defensive football as he did not have some luxury and great player before him with Portugal. They are Luis Figo whom can dribble and put in some excellent crosses from the wing, Deco whom a great attacking player, a defensive wall like Ricardo Carvalho and a great box to box midfielder in the form of Maniche.
During this player had played for their country, Messi and Ronaldo is a player with a great potential in 2006 World Cup and 2004 Euro but when both they had realized and exceeded their potential, they great player that they had once in their respective national team is not around them. Ronaldo is the sole attacking player for Portugal and at least they had a great defense.
Messi, on the other hand, does not have teammates like their predecessor. If Messi has a player like Batistuta and Hernan Crespo who is a great finisher, a defensive wall like Roberto Ayala, an attacking player like Veron or Riquelme, a winger like Claudio Lopes, then things will be different for Argentina and Messi. Another difference is the Portugal manager had created a great defensive wall with Ronaldo is the sole striker, the current Argentina manager Jose Saompoli had made some great mistake in the tactical and players.
Paola Dybala was selected and put in the bench even against France in the knockout stages, Mario Icardi is not selected for a reason known to the manager, Sergio Romero is injured and his successor is not as solid as him and making some crucial and crazy mistakes in the wrong time, and no midfield maestro and attacking midfielder similar to the past player of Argentina.
Similar to Lee Chong Wei in badminton whom had denied the ultimate medal in the badminton due to Lin Dan , both Messi and Ronaldo had peaked in the wrong time when their national team does not have the great player like their predecessor and this is one of the reason on why Messi and Ronaldo is unable to perform like they did with their club and winning the World Cup like Pele and Maradona before the. The ultimate difference between Messi and Ronaldo, if compared to Pele and Maradona, is that Pele and Maradona had great players around them where Messi and Ronaldo do not have that luxury.