What Messi & Ronaldo Need To Do To Book World Cup Ticket
What Lionel Messi & Cristiano Ronaldo Need To Do To Book World Cup Ticket
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo will learn their 2018 FIFA World Cup fate in the next 24 hours. Here is what they need to do in order to prevent missing out on the showpiece in Russia.
A World Cup without football’s current two greatest players sounds impossible, but it could still happen.
Messi’s Argentina currently only sit in sixth place in the South American qualification table, with only the top four sides qualifying directly and the fifth-placed team to go through an inter-continental playoff against Oceania representative New Zealand in November.
The Albiceleste, who failed to win any of their last four qualifiers and currently sit on 25 points, need to beat Ecuador (20 points) away from home in order to keep their World Cup hopes alive, as anything less than three points could mean they won’t go to Russia.
Even a win, though, won’t necessarily ensure their direct qualification, if third-placed Chile (26 points) would beat group leaders Brazil (38 points) and the game between fourth-placed Colombia (26 points) and fifth-placed Peru (25 points, same goal difference but more goals scored than Argentina) would find a winner. In this constellation, Argentina could end up in the playoff spot.
If Argentina fail to win against Ecuador – they have only beaten them two times in their last nine games with the last victory coming in 2001 – sixth-placed Paraguay (24 points) could overtake them with a win against bottom side Venezuela.
Meanwhile, the permutations for Ronaldo’s Portugal are much easier. The 2016 UEFA European Championship winners need to beat Switzerland in their final qualifier at home to book thei ticket to Russia.
The Group B runners-up won eight out of their nine games, but lost the first clash in Switzerland 2-0, with the Swiss winning all the rest of their games as well and leading the table by three points.
Ronaldo’s Portugal, though, have a much better goal difference, which means a one-goal win would see them end the group in first spot. However, if they would fail to do so, Portugal would have to book their spot in Russia via the playoff route after doing so in 2009 and 2013 already.
Do you think Messi and Ronaldo will both book their ticket for the World Cup tonight? Have your say in the comments section below.