“We don’t have Messi” – When Cristiano Ronaldo’s legendary ex-Portugal teammate explained why they did not win World Cup


Portugal legend and Cristiano Ronaldo’s former teammate Deco believes that his country couldn’t win the 2022 FIFA World Cup due to the lack of a player like the legendary Lionel Messi.

The eight-time Ballon d’Or winner helped his country secure World Cup success in Qatar last year, bagging seven goals and three assists in seven games, winning the Golden Ball in the process. Meanwhile, his arch-rival and Al-Nassr striker, Ronaldo, failed to impact his team’s performances like the Barcelona icon.

The 38-year-old attacker managed just one goal in five games. Seemingly admitting that the former Barcelona man’s influence was greater than Ronaldo’s, having shared the pitch 57 times with the latter, Deco said (via AlbicelesteTalk) earlier this year:

“Argentina won the World Cup because they have Messi. For us, Portugal had the best generation of good players, but we don’t have Messi.”

The Portuguese World Cup side was made up of some of the best European talent. It comprised Premier League superstars Bernardo Silva, Bruno Fernandes and Ruben Dias, along with Joao Felix and Joao Cancelo.

Despite a talented squad, the 2016 European champions were dealt a quarterfinal exit by Morocco. Youssef En-Nesyri scored the game’s only goal in the 42nd minute.

Meanwhile, Messi scored twice in a thrilling final against France that saw Argentina win 4-2 on penalties after a pulsating 3-3 draw.

Jamie Carragher places Lionel Messi over Cristiano Ronaldo

Jamie Carragher
Jamie Carragher

Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher snubbed Cristiano Ronaldo when asked to make a pick for the GOAT debate. The ex-defender admitted that Ronaldo is the best goalscorer but picked the Argentine sensation for his all-round abilities.

The Barcelona icon is a World Cup, three-time UEFA Champions League and 10-time La Liga winner. When asked to choose between the two, Carragher told CBS Sports (via Mirror):

“It was never a debate. Cristiano Ronaldo’s nowhere near. Ronaldo is one of the greatest goalscorers of all time, Messi is the greatest player of all time. It’s not even close.”

Cristiano Ronaldo has scored an incredible 733 goals in his club career and is a five-time Ballon d’Or winner. He has laid his hands on the Premier League thrice and the UEFA Champions League five times, among other accolades. Meanwhile, Messi has netted 721 times in club football.

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