Brazilian icon Ronaldo Nazario has admitted he would be content to see Lionel Messi win the World Cup, even if he would be conflicted too.
His side of course exited in dramatic fashion against Croatia, conceding a late equaliser in extra time and then failing in the penalty shout-out. Croatia face Argentina in the semi-final.
Speaking in Qatar, Ronaldo explained that he didn’t feel Argentina to be the most gifted football team, but they do have a lot of grit.
“I would be happy if Messi won the World Cup,” “I would not be happy, as a Brazilian,” he told MD.
“We all deserve it. Football is playing and winning. Nobody is going to give you anything. Not for his story, not for anything. He has a chance, of course. Argentina doesn’t play great football, but they have incredible desire, they all run a lot together, they all have an aggressiveness… and then they have Messi, who when he approaches the area is very decisive. Personally, I would be happy for him if he wins it.”
Messi’s Argentina were shocked at the beginning of the tournament by Saudi Arabia, but since have kept two clean sheets in four matches, scoring eight in the process.
Croatia will provide an opponent possessing an excellent mentality. Having been to the final four years ago, the European side arguably have the advantage in terms of a mental edge.
How both sides respond to extra time may also be a factor. Croatia have shown a remarkable ability to fight through fatigue in recent tournaments, but have played an extra 30 minutes than Argentina this World Cup. Argentina expended plenty of emotional energy in their victory over the Netherlands.