So much has been said and done about the Lionel Messi-Cristiano Ronaldo GOAT debate over the last decade and a half, but it seems the former is finally getting the long-overdue near-consensus.
Yesterday, Messi reached his second World Cup final following a sensational performance against Croatia. He opened the scoring with a goal from the penalty spot and then set up Julian Alvarez’s first goal through a counter-attack.
However, the highlight of the game came in the second half when Leo received the ball in the middle third near the touchline.
He sprinted past arguably the best defender of the tournament – Josko Gvardiol -, before the Croat eventually caught up to him. Leo then feinted and got the ball to the edge of the box, after which he dropped his shoulder to send Gvardiol packing.
Now free in the box, Messi then played a simple cut-back to Alvarez, who made no mistake burying his chance.
The moment of unparalleled brilliance brought up incredible responses from the football world, most of whom were left speechless. One such ‘fan’ was spotted in Wayne Rooney, who has backed Messi as the GOAT for a decade now.
Following Messi’s five goals against Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League, Rooney had tweeted, “Messi is a joke. For me, the best ever.”
This was especially interesting as the Manchester United legend was considered a close friend of Ronaldo, with the two forming an incredible partnership during their time in England.
Yesterday night, Rooney reiterated his opinion, quoting his own tweet from ten years back: “Nothing has changed.”
This, of course, would not go down well with Ronaldo, who did not shy away from taking a below-the-belt hit at Rooney for being ‘worse looking’ than him.
Messi, meanwhile, will take on one of France or Morocco in the World Cup final on Sunday, hoping to redeem himself for the loss against Germany in 2014.