Jose Mourinho names World Cup semi-finalists, leaves out Spain

Liverpool-Mohamed Salah

Many football fans still believe that in order to be recognised as the greatest footballer ever, you need to win a World Cup, just like Pele and Diego Maradona managed to do during their illustrious careers.

Ronaldo, now 41, quit football in 2011 but played his last World Cup back in 2006.

In an honest interview, the former Real Madrid striker sided slightly with the Barcelona forward.

"But I admit that Lionel Messi brings even more magic to football".

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That is a decidedly different take from Ronaldo, who has proclaimed himself to be the greatest player in the history of the game, and who may not like his new coach appearing to favor his rival.

Ronaldo, of course, has won a host of trophies at both Manchester United and Real Madrid, while all of Messi's accomplishments have come at the Camp Nou, where teams have generally been built around him. "They depend on Messi".

Messi and his team have failed twice after reaching the finals of the Copa De Liberatores, the last when the player was booed off the pitch after messing in a hometown final against the lesser fancied Chile.

Whether Messi can put on a show that leaves a lasting legacy, or whether coach Jorge Sampaoli's high-pressing tactics are too adventurous for a side with notable defensive shortcomings, it promises to be a story that engrosses far more than just followers of La Albiceleste. Such is the hysteria that Messi's biographer, Sebastian Fest, said it had got to the stage where "it nearly amuses him not to sing it".

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In theory, two-time World Cup champion Argentina really shouldn't be fearful of facing Iceland, who are making their first appearance at the tournament. "When I made Cristiano Ronaldo's portrait I got many positive comments and people were amazed", he said.

Players of the Argentina National Team during training.

"Argentina's problem is that they are not psychologically prepared to play without Messi", Cherchésov told La Vanguardia.

Quizzed on who he would have welcomed the opportunity to work with, Carlos said: "With Neymar, with Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo".

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