Legendary Brazil forward Ronaldo has hailed Lionel Messi after captaining Argentina to World Cup victory, saying the veteran’s brilliance puts any rivalries aside.
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Messi scored a brace in the final with France on Sunday which stood level at 2-2 after 90 minutes and was even again after extra-time at 3-3.
Argentina eventually won on penalties and Messi finally got his hands on the World Cup at 35 years old, winning the Golden Ball for player of the tournament in the process as he scored seven goals and made three assists along the way.
There seemed to be little but admiration and congratulations for Messi after his triumph alongside his compatriots, even from South American rivals.
Brazil and Argentina have always been fierce competitors, but Ronaldo says that does not matter when it comes to hailing the great man with the World Cup in his hands.
The 46-year-old wrote on Twitter: ‘This guy’s football throws any rivalry to the corner.
‘I saw a lot of Brazilians – and people from all over the world – rooting for Messi in this electrifying final. A farewell worthy of the genius who, far beyond being a World Cup star, captained an era. Congratulations Messi!’
Ronaldo was wishing Messi a fond farewell from international football as the PSG forward had announced that was his plan before the World Cup final.
But, already basking in the glory of the success in Qatar, the Argentina legend has changed his mind.
Asked if he was going to retire from international football after the victory, Messi told TyC Sports: ‘No, I’m not going to retire from the national team. I want to keep playing as World Cup champions with Argentina shirt.’