Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are playing in their final World Cup, so the 2022 edition of the tournament is bittersweet for fans who appreciate both or either player.
In an interview, FIFA president Gianni Infantino shared his sentiments over these two legendary players participating in their last World Cup. However, Infantino says should either Messi or Ronaldo win the competition in Qatar, the other might want to try their luck in 2026.
“If it’s really the last World Cup, they will decide it by themselves,” Infantino said. “Of course, I was reading about this in the last few days. If one of them wins it, it will certainly crown his career and maybe that the other will then try to win the next one. And because the other doesn’t like to lose, he will come back.
“The fact that they maybe think that this is their last World Cup, even in consciously will make them perform probably at the highest level they have ever performed in their career.”
"If 🇦🇷 Messi or Ronaldo 🇵🇹 win this World Cup, whoever doesn't will try to win the next one." 🔥
— beIN SPORTS USA (@beINSPORTSUSA) November 21, 2022
It’s hard to envision either player suiting up for their national team in their late 30s and early 40s to try and get another shot at winning the World Cup due to their rival winning the tournament.
Nonetheless, if either Messi or Ronaldo takes care of their body and performs at a high level these next three and a half years, then maybe the possibility is there.
Still, it’s more likely that these two players will say goodbye at the international once this World Cup ends.