The entire football world was at the verge of missing some super action from the 2 best players in the World, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo as their countries looked unlikely to qualify but Argentina and Portugal, their respective countries, showed why they should be feared as they booked a ticket to Russia 2018.
Lionel Messi sealed the deal for Argentina as he scored hat-trick in their 1-3 win over Ecuador. The win moves them from 6th to 3rd place behind Luis Suarez‘s Uruguay forming part of the 4 countries to qualify from the CONMEBOL Group.
Romario Ibrarra gave Argentina a huge scare when he opened the game with a goal in 38 seconds into the game but Lionel Messi reclaimed the glory by scoring all three goals for his side (12′, 20′ and 62′).
Portugal were 2nd behind group leaders Switzerland and needed 3 points to give them qualification on goal difference. Very confident going into the game, they produced an equivalent result as they added a second goal to the own goal they gained.
Switzerland’s unbeaten record in this campaign was broken as Portugal book World Cup spot ahead of them. Cristiano Ronaldo couldn’t get his name on the score sheet but after an own goal from Johan Djourou in the 41st minute, AC Milan striker, Andre Silva doubled the lead in the 57th minute.
Ronlado has scored 15 goals in the Qualifiers and Messi has managed 4 goals. Messi would try to prove to the World that he is not only a hero at Barcelona but also a national king by winning the 2018 world cup. The stakes are high as he is still in a good goal scoring form, producing a similar feat in the Spanish La Liga.
Ronaldo who has not had a great start in the La Liga due to his goal drought would also try all he can to win the World Cup for Portugal, after winning the Euro 2016 for them. Ronaldo has proved that Portugal can rely on him and it’s Messi who needs to gain their love after failing in the Euro 2016.
The Barcelona star hasn’t won any major trophy for his country and this seem to be the best time for him as he has reportedly announced an early retirement after the 2018 World Cup. Deigo Maradona fans must be asleep by now, unable to lift their shameful heads as they didn’t expect Argentina to qualify on the wings of Messi.
Argentina didn’t only qualify, but they booked the spot on the ticket of Messi’s hat-trick. The hate will die out if Messi wins the World Cup then there would be nothing like Diego Maradona is the best, because then there’s a Messi who has defied all odds.
Brazil, Spain, Germany and Belgium looks like the favorite at this moment as they produced some spectacular display during their qualifications with Brazil qualifying first, but between Argentina and Portugal, Portugal seem to have the men for the job, even without Cristiano Ronaldo.