Will Lionel Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo Clash Happen at 2018 FIFA World Cup? Schedule of Knock-Out Matches Increases the Probability
Lionel Messi | Cristiano Ronaldo (Photo Credits: Getty Images)

Will Lionel Messi face-off against Cristiano Ronaldo at 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia? Well, it sure is a possibility. If both, Argentina and Portugal manage to secure wins in their respective knockout matches on June 30, then the fans will get to witness one of the greatest battles in football in modern times.

If Argentina beats France in their next encounter, and Portugal manage to defeat Uruguay in their next match; both the teams will meet in the quarterfinal of the FIFA World Cup 2018. The match will be one the biggest matches, perhaps, equivalent to the World Cup tournament final.

The rivalry between the top two football players in the world is well known. Be it Real Madrid vs Barcelona, or in context of the number of goals and assists, or the number of awards won by an individual; Cristiano Ronaldo vs Lionel Messi rivalry has been one of the biggest rivalries in the modern era.

Argentina won their last group match against Nigeria, on Tuesday, in a nail-biting finish. The goal in the ending moments of the match saw Argentina win the match 2-1. With the win, the Lionel Messi-led side survived an embarrassing exit from the tournament and enter the round of 16 after initial hiccups in their campaign.

The first match against Iceland saw Iceland goalkeeper Hannes Hallodorsson stop a penalty kick by Messi. The Argentinian captain was trolled mercilessly on social media after the match was drawn 1-1.

In their next match, the La Albiceleste were humiliated by Croatia as they were defeated 3-0. The last Group D match between Argentina and Nigeria saw both the teams looking for a win to qualify in the next round. Cometh the hour, cometh the man; Lionel Messi led his side from the front and ensured that his side emerged victoriously in the night!

Full Points Table of Group D at FIFA World Cup 2018:

Group D Team Standings
Pos. Team Played Won Draw Lost Goals For Goals Against Goal Difference Points
1 Croatia 3 3 0 0 7 1 6 9
2 Argentina 3 1 1 1 3 5 -2 4
3 Nigeria 3 1 o 2 3 4 -1 3
4 Iceland 3 0 1 2 2 5 -3 1

With three wins in their three matches, Croatia (D1) topped the Group D with 9 points. In their three matches, Argentina (D2) had a win, a loss, and a draw, which saw them placed second in the group. Nigeria, with one win and two losses, were third in the table; whereas Iceland was on the last spot.

On the other hand, Ronaldo-led Portugal was quite spectacular in their group matches and had a relatively easier campaign than Argentina. Portugal drew 3-3 with Spain in their tournament opener as Ronaldo’s hat-trick (the first of FIFA World Cup 2018) lit up the tournament. The Portuguese team won their next match against Morocco 1-0 and secured a draw in their last match against Iran 1-1.

Full Points Table of Group B at FIFA World Cup 2018:

Group B Team Standings
Pos. Team Played Won Draw Lost Goals For Goals Against Goal Difference Points
1 Spain 3 1 2 0 6 5 1 5
2 Portugal 3 1 2 0 5 4 1 5
3 Iran 3 1 1 1 2 2 0 4
4 Morocco 3 0 1 2 2 4 -2 1

With a win and two draws in their campaign, Portugal (B2) was placed second in the Group B with five points in their kitty. Spain (B1), who topped the group also had five points against their name; however, they were ahead of Portugal on the basis of goal differences. Iran was in the third spot, whereas Morocco who didn’t win any game in the group, was on the last spot.

As per the FIFA World Cup Round of 16 fixtures, A1 (Uruguay) will face-off against B2 (Portugal), whereas C1 (France) will lock horns with D2 (Argentina). If Portugal and Argentina manage to beat their opponents on June 30, they will set their quarter-final match on July 6. If at all this happens, it will be a treat for the football fans across the globe! Who wouldn’t want to see the two titans in football history clash against each other at the football’s greatest extravaganza!