Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi Set For A Fifth FIFA World Cup Appearance In Qatar Later This Year

Messi and Ronaldo will be playing at their fifth World Cup in Qatar later this year.


Ronaldo and Messi are set to join a select group of players who have made it to five World Cup tournaments in their careers, Germany’s Lothar Matthaus, Mexico’s Rafa Marquez and Antonio Carbajal and Italy’s Gianluigi Buffon are the only three players to have achieved this feat. 

Portugal secured qualification to the biggest sporting tournament in the world on Tuesday night after a 2-0 victory against North Macedonia in Porto, courtesy of Bruno Fernandes brace.

North Macedonia went into the play-off final eyeing another huge upset, after beating current European chamoion Italy 1-0 in the semi-final through a stoppage-time winner.

There was to be no goal for Ronaldo, nor any late heroics from North Macedonia on this occasion, as Fernandes scored in both halves with an assist from Ronaldo, tlo book his country’s place in Qatar.

The 2022 World Cup, will unquestionably be a better tournament with Ronaldo's presence and that of Bernardo Silva, Diogo Jota, Bruno Fernandes and the Porto winger Otavio e.t.c

They certainly have the talent to make it a successful trip, as Portugal are no longer a team solely reliant on Ronaldo under Fernando Santos.

Portugal have qualified for every World Cup since 1998, and will be a top seed no leading nation in Friday’s draw.

Cristiano has played in four World Cups and, despite being 37 years old, he has not yet ruled out playing at the next one, when he will be 41.

Meanwhile, Argentina defeated Venezuela 3-0 on Friday, thanks to goals from Nicolas Gonzalez, Angel Di Maria and captain Messi. 

The Argentine team has long qualified for Qatar 2022, as they seek to help Messi win the another major international trophy, having won the Copa America last year.

Messi had a man-of-the-match performance in the game against Venezuela, which was one of his best games of the season for both club or country, as he prepares to play in his fifth World Cup finald in Qatar this year.

The PSG forward will be turning 39 years old by the time the 2026 World Cup comes around in four years time, leading many to believe that his current run at the 2022 FIFA tournament will likely be the legend's last with Argentina. 

Messi turns 35 in the summer of 2022 and it's no wonder he wants to rethink things after the World Cup in Qatar. To undertake another four-year qualifying cycle at his age can take a toll. 

The six-time Ballon d'Or winner had announced his international retirement once before, after Argentina lost the 2016 Copa America final to Chile in a penalty-kick shootout. It was the fourth time that he experienced heartbreak at an international tournament final: There were two other Copa America championship games lost to Chile in 2015), Brazil in 2007, and a 2014 World Cup final that saw Germany win 1-0.

When he was asked postgame whether he would continue playing World Cup qualifiers after the 2022 World Cup, Messi said he expected things to change.

 "After the 2022 World Cup, I will have to rethink many things, whether it goes well or not, hopefully in the best way. But surely after the World Cup many things change"... He said.

Messi has rarely addressed rumors about his future. There was speculation by many that the 2018 World Cup would be his last, and yet he has been a key part of Argentina's qualification for World Cup 2022 in Qatar.

He has been a major contributor to Argentina's World Cup runs in the past, helping the nation qualify for five straight FIFA tournaments, becoming the nation's all-time leading scorer (80 goals and counting) and has more World Cup qualifying goals (28) than any player in South American qualifying history

The party in Qatar would have been greater had Italy, Mo Salah, Erling Haaland and Zlatan Ibrahimovic also made it to the World Cup with their conutries.

In their absence, others players will create the headlines, and one of them would definitely be Ronaldo and Messi. Qatar 2022 just wouldn't have been the same without arguably the two greatest players in history.

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