The next World Cup is happening very soon – at the end of this year, in Qatar. The problem is that Ronaldo and Messi will be 37 and 35 years old by the time the tournament rolls around.
The oldest player to win the World Cup with his team was Dino Zoff, who played for Italy at the age of 40 back in 1982. He might have let in some of the top World Cup goals of the tournament that year, but it’s well-known that goalies can play on later in life than other positions.
The duo we’re discussing here has been dominating world football for a long time now, but their age is catching up with them. So, will Messi and Ronaldo play in the most prestigious competition in soccer after the 2022 tournament? Let’s find out.
The next World Cup is in Qatar
First things first, a little bit of background on this year’s World Cup. It’s going to be held in Qatar, a country in the Middle East. This will mark the first time the event has ever been held in the Middle East. It will also be the first time that it has been held during winter – this is because of the scorching temperatures in Qatar in the summer – even in December, the average is around 75F!
Ronaldo and Messi are getting older
Ronaldo and Messi will be 37 and 35 at the time of the 2022 World Cup. Both players have been playing at an elite level for over a decade, and it’s highly likely that by 2026 they’ll have retired from international duty. However, Ronaldo has denied speculation that this will be the case and has stated he doesn’t have plans to stop playing for Portugal any time soon.
However, things are a little different for Messi. The Argentinian has retired from international play once before, following a string of defeats in 2016, before making a comeback shortly afterward. His contract with Paris Saint-Germain ends in 2023, and he hasn’t yet renewed it. Instead, it’s thought he will retire to the US when this time comes. He has already bought a share in Major League Soccer team Inter Miami in preparation for his move across the Atlantic.
This means that 2022 could be their last chance to play in a major tournament together. If you’re one of those people who enjoy watching these two stars take each other on during play, then you should definitely make plans to attend this winter’s World Cup in Qatar!
Messi & Ronaldo have been playing internationally since the age of 18
Messi has been playing with Argentina at a senior level since he was just 18 years old. However, he started his international career with the under-20s team – he scored in his debut, which was held just after he turned 17.
Ronaldo has also been playing with Portugal at a senior level since he was 18 years old – his debut was also a victory, a 1-0 win against Kazakhstan.
Shortly after turning 22, Ronaldo captained Portugal for the first time, putting him among the top 10 youngest international captains of all time. He was also the youngest ever Portugal captain at the time.
Neither player has won the World Cup yet, although they’ve each played for their home countries four times; Messi with Argentina and Ronaldo with Portugal. This upcoming 2022 World Cup will be the last if either of these players decides to hang up their cleats after this tournament, so it’s entirely possible that we could see history made by either player.
It will be interesting to see how the World Cup goes in 2022 and whether or not we see the last appearance of these two greats on the biggest stage.
If either Portugal or Argentina wins, then it would also be very fitting as it would be a perfect way for these players to end their international careers. If neither of their teams wins, it would be very sad to see them go out of international football without winning such a major trophy.