As Cristiano Ronaldo was brandished a second yellow card of the tournament that effectively ruled him out of the quarter finals which they had no hope of reaching, that feeling must have rung in him once again, “I have failed at the world cup again”.
For players like Ronaldo and Messi who’s Argentina team was a walking dead in many people’s eyes, much is expected of them after the pedestal they have placed themselves on in club football.
For the past 10 years they have dominated at club level winning the Ballon Do’r between them. Everyone has their reasons for choosing either of the two but one thing is clear, they are going to go down as the greatest players in history no matter what happens in their international careers.
This however could be the last time we see them in the world cup and it is quite sad that none of them could at least lift the cup once in their career. Messi was closest to doing that last time but were undone by a not so sharp Higuan and some poor finishing.
Ronaldo has gone as far as the semifinals, finishing 4th in his first tournament in Germany, falling short in 2010 to Spain and going out in group stages in 2014. These failures should rather emphasize to us how important the supporting cast is to these players success ; after all the whole is greater than the sum of the individual parts.
So as we bid farewell to the arguably the greatest players in the modern era of football, we will do so with fond memories of them, knowing they gave their all to the game and thanking them for making us love the game even more.