The Tale Of Two Superstars: Lionel Messi And Cristiano Ronaldo

| June 30 , 2018 , 16:16 IST

Argentina struggled to qualify whereas Portugal qualified easily despite the fact that both the teams have got one of the two superstars.

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo

Lionel Messi has not been in good form in this FIFA world cup. He was not able to score even a single goal for 662 consecutive minutes before he finally scored a goal against Nigeria. He scored just 1 goal in the 3 matches of the group stages.                                                         

On the contrary, Cristiano Ronaldo has been in great form in this world cup. He has scored 4 goals so far and is in contention for the top goal scorer in this world cup. He has led from the front by scoring 4 of the 5 goals Portugal have scored in this world cup. He also scored a hat-trick against Spain.

Varying Defence and Midfield strength

Portugal have been brilliant in their defence. Pepe has been excellent for them. Rival teams have found it difficult to pierce into their defence.

On the other hand, Argentina have been inconsistent in their defence and have lacked ideas. Their star players have been out of form. However, Marcos Rojo gave some positives to Argentina in their last match against Nigeria where he scored the second goal.

Loss of first choice goalkeeper for Argentina

A big blow to Argentina even before the world cup was the ruling out of Sergio Romero just before the world cup due to a knee injury. They used to goalkeepers during the group stages- Willy Caballero against Croatia and Spain and Franco Armani against Nigeria but none of them could keep a clean sheet. Franco Armani conceded 1 goal in 1 match while Willy Caballero conceded 6 goals in 2 matches. The goalkeeping has been one of the biggest problems of Argentina.                                                          

Portugal have got their first choice goalkeeper- Rui Patrício who has worked nicely for Portugal till now. He managed to keep a clean sheet against Morocco and has conceded 4 goals so far.                                      

Argentina’s Overdependence on one player

Argentina has been overdependent on Lionel Messi. It can be seen that whenever Messi has not been able to perform well, the team has also not performed well. This is also the reason that team has not performed well. Messi has also been under tremendous pressure due to overdependence on him which has reflected his performance as well.

For Portugal, Cristiano Ronaldo, Pepe, Ricardo Quaresma and Rui Patricio have been consistent. They have helped the team when it has needed.                                                                         
Argentina scored just 3 goals in 3 matches while Portugal scored 5. Although Marcos Rojo and Sergio Aguero have also scored a goal each, they have been inconsistent and need to perform better.

How is their way ahead?

Portugal- Portugal will play Uruguay, the group A table-toppers in their pre-quarters. It will not be easy for them as Luis Suarez is in great form. If they win, they would face either France or Argentina in quarters which will be again a very tough challenge for them.

Argentina- Will face France (group B table toppers) in pre-quarters. they will need to work hard in order to win it as France have a very organized defence as well as attack. If they win, another tough challenge from either Uruguay or Portugal will await them in the quarters.

Analysis by Ayuj Aryan