FIFA World Cup: Messi, Ronaldo pose over chessboard in paid partnership ahead of Qatar 2022

Football superstars Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi on Saturday put up a post on Instagram together.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi pictured together in an Instagram post for a luxury fashion brand.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi pictured together in an Instagram post for a luxury fashion brand. | Photo Credit: Annie Leibovitz for Louis Vuitton

Football superstars Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi on Saturday put up a post on Instagram together.

Football superstars Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi on Saturday put up a post on Instagram together.

The post, sponsored by Louis Vuitton, went up at around 11pm IST from both the Argentina and Portugal footballers’ respective social media handles.

“Victory is a State of Mind,” read the post.

Argentina plays its first match of the World Cup against Saudi Arabia on November 22. Portugal, on the other hand, goes up against Ghana on November 24.

There is a chance of a Portugal vs Argentina match-up in the 2022 World Cup, where Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi will lock horns against each other.

The World Cup stage is set for perhaps one final shootout between the two greatest football players of the generation — and to many, the two greatest of all time.

This year’s tournament in Qatar presents Messi and Ronaldo with one last chance to win the ultimate trophy. Even by their own remarkable powers of endurance, it is unlikely either will be around for the next tournament in 2026 when Messi will be 39 and Ronaldo 41.

Pele and Diego Maradona — perhaps the only two players who can still challenge the supremacy of Messi and Ronaldo in the history books — earned their reputations from their achievements on this stage.

Pele won the trophy thrice with Brazil, while Maradona led Argentina to the title in 1986 with a performance of such individual brilliance that it left an indelible mark on the tournament.

For all their genius, Argentina’s Messi and Portugal’s Ronaldo have yet to emulate the two men they have spent their careers trying to surpass.

These are the final stages of their storied careers, which have seen them share 12 Ballon d’Or awards, nine Champions League titles, 18 league titles and plenty of other accolades. But to add the World Cup would be the ultimate at a time when both players are seeing their powers wane.

(With inputs from Associated Press)

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