Messi and Ronaldo: One Last World Cup?
This site has done much to highlight the superlative achievements of both Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. But, it has become clear that the biggest omission from their CVs is a World Cup winners medal. If the pair retired now, the lack of a medal wouldnt tarnish their standing in the pantheon of football greats. However, it would be a fitting finale to either players international career. Of course, the 2022 World Cup is not completely out of the question, certainly for Messi who will be 34 at the time, but you would have to say this is the last chance for both stars when at the very peak of their powers.
So, how will they fare at the World Cup in Russia? Will they land individual success? Or captain their nations to glory? Below is a quick guide to all the odds and betting markets for Messi, Ronaldo and their two nations in Russia. If you have your own idea of who will succeed, click the link to bet on Messi and Ronaldo at the World Cup with a free bet.
Messi and Argentina came agonisingly close to lifting the World Cup in 2014 after losing in extra-time to Germany. While Germany as the victors came away with all the plaudits (they are co-favourites at 5/1 for the 2018 World Cup), if you re-watch the Final you will see that Argentina were arguably the better side. The problem is that both sides have gone in opposite directions since that time: Germany have become stronger, whereas Argentina struggled to qualify and were humiliated by Spain last week. The odds of 10/1 for Argentina look tempting, but they will have to get their act together. They are 8/13 to win Group D ahead of Nigeria, Croatia and Iceland.
Messi Individual Odds:
Messi is the outright favourite with nearly all bookmakers to be the top scorer in Russia, with the best odds available around 10/1 (188Bet, Bet Victor).
Despite being European Champions, Portugal are among the dark horses for the World Cup. The current odds of 28/1 (Sporting Bet) look decent value however, for a side that always finds a way to go deep in the big tournaments. They are heavily fancied to join Spain in qualifying from Group B (ahead of Morocco and Iran), with odds of 2/1 for Portugal to top the group. If they qualify, they will play a team from a weak Group A (Russia, Uruguay, Saudi Arabia, Egypt) in the Last 16. On that evidence, you would have to say the World Cup draw is favourable for Ronaldo and Portugal.
Ronaldo individual odds:
Ronaldo is around third favourite to be top scorer, coming in behind Messi and Neymar at odds of 14/1.
Will Messi and Ronaldo meet at the World Cup?
The odds for a Final between Portugal and Argentina are currently 66/1 (Bet Stars). However, they will obviously have to be kept apart in the draw. That will mean that one side wins the group and one side comes second. If they both win their groups, they will potentially meet in the quarter-finals in Sochi on 7th July. The odds for Argentina to reach the quarters are 4/6 and Portugal 11/8.