The 2022 World Cup in Qatar has all the ingredients to produce iconic storylines that could stand the test of time in the annals of football history, and perhaps none other lays at the feet of legendary duo Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
As both players remain at the twilight of their careers at the very top of the sport, Messi and Ronaldo are all but certain but be featuring in their final World Cup tournament while neither has yet to lift the sport’s top trophy despite their glistening careers at club level for the top sides in the European game.
But as both look to put the final exclamation point before eventually no longer serving their country on a football pitch, the possibility that the pair could come face-to-face in the tournament final after a specific pathway has come to light.
Should both Argentina and Portugal win their respective groups, both nations will end up on opposite sides of the knockout stage bracket and in line to clash in the final, though in doing so, tough opposition would be presented to both.
Possible knockout stage opponents for Argentina would include Denmark, Netherlands, Spain, Croatia, Brazil, and Uruguay, while Portugal could potentially square off against England, France, Belgium, Germany, and Switzerland. All of these potential outcomes, of course, depending on results, while not including a myriad of other re-shuffled brackets for the multitude of scenarios that cannot be counted for.
Though Brazil comes into Qatar as the odds-on tournament favorite, many fans of both players - and neutrals alike - will be pulling for one of them to end their career in stunning fashion this winter, and both nations certainly boast the player pool to do it under Lionel Scaloni and Fernando Santos.