World Cup 2018: 10 days to go

Football: Humble Messi can inspire Argentina to rise in Russia

Lionel Messi admits Argentina are not the best team in the world but he relishes the "beautiful opportunity" to lead his country to their first World Cup title since 1986.
Lionel Messi admits Argentina are not the best team in the world but he relishes the "beautiful opportunity" to lead his country to their first World Cup title since 1986.PHOTOS: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

The 2018 World Cup is likely to be a last shot at glory for eternal rivals Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. As the pair move towards the twilight of their reign atop world football, The Straits Times' columnists Rob Hughes and Richard Jolly argue which of the two is likelier to make the biggest impact in Russia and trump the other in winning a first World Cup. Unlike Ron, Leo is not obsessed with scoring and his creativity can lead Argentina to glory

Over the past decade, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have sustained a level of performance that we had no right to expect - or should expect from any other player ever again.

Their styles are as different as their physiques. Their goals have been almost measure for measure. Yet choosing one over the other to win the World Cup does not require a moment's hesitation.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 04, 2018, with the headline 'Humble Messi can inspire team to rise in Russia'. Print Edition | Subscribe