Ronaldo Nazario has admitted he doesn't want to see Lionel Messi lift the World Cup with Argentina at this winter's tournament.
The 46-year-old former Barcelona, Inter Milan and Real Madrid forward, who made 98 appearances for Brazil during a 17-year career on the international stage, lifted football's biggest prize in 1994 and 2002.
He didn't play a single minute in 1994 – a tournament in which Brazil beat Italy 3–2 on penalties to claim their fourth World Cup title – but the legendary striker took home the Golden Boot in 2002 after scoring eight goals.
Ronaldo has done what many dream of on the world's biggest stage, including the great Lionel Messi, who will be aiming to win his first World Cup this winter.
Messi, of course, came close in 2014, when a late goal from Germany's Mario Gotze broke Argentine hearts in the final.
In fact, less than a year after that defeat, a distraught Messi looked back at some of the chances both he and his team had during the final during an interview with FIFA. You can see that clip below.
Ah man😢 Be great to see him win the World Cup in Qatar 🙏 pic.twitter.com/xqsH1d4NED— Best of Football (@BestofFootball8) June 22, 2022
PSG forward Messi will be hoping to lift the famous trophy in what could be his last ever World Cup – but Ronaldo isn't exactly keen on seeing it happen.
When asked if he wanted to see seven-time Ballon d'Or winner Messi win the trophy, Nazario told The Guardian: "If he nationalised for Spain. The Brazil-Argentina rivalry is so big. We had incredible battles, with respect, and that’s the loveliest thing in football.
"But Argentina winning the World Cup doesn’t bear thinking about. Does Messi deserve it? Of course he does – but not with my support. I love him and he’ll understand because I’m sure he would feel exactly the same way."
He added: "When you win there’s respect too: like Diego, who’s so respected in Brazil. But, nah.”
As previously mentioned, this year's World Cup will likely be Messi's last. In fact, the Argentine admitted it will be the last one in an interview with Star Plus.
"There's some anxiety and nerves at the same time. It is the last one," he said. "In a World Cup, anything can happen. All the matches are very tough. The favourites don't always end up winning.
"I don't know if we're the favourites, but Argentina is always a candidate because of its history. Now even more so because of the moment we're in, but we are not the favourites. I think there are other teams that are above us."
Messi did say Argentina were 'not afraid of anyone' with a month to go until Qatar. Can they do it? Lionel Scaloni's side have been drawn into Group C alongside Saudi Arabia, Poland and Mexico.
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
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