Barcelona forward Lionel Messi has said he was delighted to see Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo score a hat trick on Tuesday night for Portugal and is looking forward to seeing him at the World Cup in Brazil next summer.
Kicker magazine carried quotes from the Argentine star saying Ronaldo’s scoring rate is phenomenal, and that the World Cup always needs the best players on the planet to be in attendance.
He said: “I was very happy for him when he scored those goals. It’s just great when the best teams compete in Brazil, and Cristiano has had a great scoring rate for many years now. He plays at an outstanding level.
“I don’t know if this is Cristiano’s best moment, but he is always there, scoring goals in all the games and playing his part for his club and his country. He has been like that for many years. Whether he is at his best, or a bit below that, there is almost no difference.”
He added that Portugal could be one of the outsiders to lift the trophy, but picked Brazil, Germany and Spain as the main contenders.
Speaking about his own World Cup ambitions, Messi stated he would swap all the individual accolades he has won in the game to win the Jules Rimet trophy with his nation as Argentina look to claim the world title they last won in 1986. “Certainly, to win the World Cup is a dream for me, my teammates and all of Argentina. We are doing well — we need to improve a couple of things, but there are still seven months until the tournament starts. Hopefully we can win there, but a lot of nations can do it,” Messi is quoted as saying.