Ronaldo finally congratulates Lionel Messi after the 2022 World Cup triumph in Qatar.
After playing in one of the most famous finals in football history, Lionel Messi put a stop to his pursuit of a World Cup victory medal.
The enthralling game led to penalties when the Argentina great scored twice and opponent Kylian Mbappe became the first player to score a hat-trick in a World Cup final since 1966.
And the South Americans came out on top by making all four of their extra-point attempts while maintaining composure.
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 now, Brazil legend Ronaldo has congratulated Lionel Messi after the Argentina star inspired his nation to the World Cup trophy on Sunday.
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.