O futebol deste cara joga pra escanteio qualquer rivalidade. Vi muito brasileiro – e gente do mundo inteiro – torcendo pelo Messi nesta final eletrizante. Uma despedida à altura do gênio que, muito além de craque da Copa, capitaneou uma era.
Parabéns, Messi! pic.twitter.com/djwuKJzexa
— Ronaldo Nazário (@Ronaldo) December 18, 2022
Brazil legend Ronaldo has congratulated Lionel Messi after the Argentina star inspired his nation to the World Cup trophy on Sunday.
Messi dazzled in a thrilling final as Argentina beat defending champions France on penalties, scoring twice and also in the shoot-out after an end-to-end 3-3 draw in Qatar.
The 35-year-old picked up the Golden Ball award for the tournament’s best player after firing seven goals, while he also became the first player to score in every round of the knockouts since the tournament’s expansion to 32 teams.
And Ronaldo, the star of Brazil’s victory at the 2002 World Cup, joined the chorus of adulation for Messi after seeing him end his hunt for the medal that had long eluded him.
“Football of this type dispels any rivalry. I saw many Brazilians, and people from all over the world, cheering on Messi in this electrifying final,” Ronaldo wrote on Twitter.
“A farewell worthy of the genius who, far beyond being a World Cup star, led an era. Congratulations, Messi!”
Ronaldo also scored twice in the 2002 World Cup final as Brazil beat Germany, while he was part of the victorious squad in 1994 aged 17, although he did not play.
Another Brazil legend, three-time winner Pele, also saluted Messi while paying tribute to France star Kylian Mbappe, who became the first player since 1966 to score a hat-trick in the final – and the first to do so and not win the trophy.
“Today, football continues to tell its story, as always, in an enthralling way,” Pele wrote on Instagram.
“Messi winning his first World Cup, as his trajectory deserved. My dear friend, Mbappe, scoring four goals [hat-trick plus scoring in the shoot-out] in a final. What a gift it was to watch this spectacle to the future of our sport.
“And I couldn’t fail to congratulate Morocco for the incredible campaign. It’s great to see Africa shine. Congratulations, Argentina! Certainly Diego is smiling now.”
Morocco enjoyed a memorable tournament as they reached the semi-finals in Qatar, while Argentina’s triumph came at the first World Cup since the death of Diego Maradona.